Electrical stimulation of the urethra evokes bladder contractions and emptying in spinal cord injury men: case studies.

Journal Article (Journal Article)


Electrical stimulation of the urethra can evoke bladder contractions in persons with spinal cord injury (SCI). The objective of this study was to determine whether electrical stimulation of the urethra could evoke bladder contractions that empty the bladder.


The first patient was a 45-year-old man with a T6 ASIA A SCI secondary to a gunshot wound 15 years prior. The second patient was a 51-year-old man with a T2 ASIA A SCI secondary to a fall from scaffolding 2 years prior. Both patients demonstrated neurogenic detrusor overactivity on urodynamics and managed their bladder with clean intermittent catheterization and oxybutynin medication. Following informed consent, each patient discontinued oxybutynin 2 days prior to urodynamic testing. Urodynamics were performed with a custom 12 French balloon catheter mounted with ring-shaped electrodes (3 mm) positioned in the prostatic urethra. After filling the bladder to approximately three-fourth of capacity at a rate of 25 ml/minute, the urethra was stimulated with a range of parameters to determine whether electrical stimulation could evoke a bladder contraction and empty the bladder.


Electrical stimulation of the prostatic urethra evoked bladder contractions (peak detrusor pressures of 60-80 cm H(2)O) that emptied the bladder in both subjects. In the first subject, stimulation (9-12 mA, 20 Hz) emptied 64-75%, leaving post-void residual volumes (PVRs) of 41-20 ml. In the second subject, stimulation (20 mA, 20 Hz) emptied 68-77%, leaving PVRs of 56-45 ml.


Urethral stimulation evoked bladder emptying in persons with SCI.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Kennelly, MJ; Bennett, ME; Grill, WM; Grill, JH; Boggs, JW

Published Date

  • January 2011

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 34 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 315 - 321

PubMed ID

  • 21756572

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC3127369

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2045-7723

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1079-0268

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1179/2045772311y.0000000012


  • eng