Pudendal nerve stimulation evokes reflex bladder contractions in persons with chronic spinal cord injury.
AIMS: Although electrical stimulation of the pudendal nerve has been shown to evoke reflex micturition-like bladder contractions in both intact and spinalized cats, there is little evidence to suggest that an analogous excitatory reflex exists in humans, particularly those with spinal cord injury (SCI). We present two cases where electrical activation of pudendal nerve afferents was used to evoke excitatory bladder responses. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: A percutaneously placed catheter electrode was used to electrically stimulate the pudendal nerve trunk in two males with SCI. The response was quantified with recorded changes in detrusor pressure and EMG activity of the external anal sphincter. RESULTS: In both individuals, frequency specific (f = 20-50 Hz) activation of the pudendal nerve trunk evoked excitatory bladder contractions that also depended on the stimulus amplitude and bladder volume. CONCLUSION: The results suggest that selective activation of the perineal branches of the pudendal nerve may further augment the excitatory reflex evoked by electrical stimulation.
Yoo, PB; Klein, SM; Grafstein, NH; Horvath, EE; Amundsen, CL; Webster, GD; Grill, WM
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