Electrophysiological assessment of sensations arising from the bladder: are there objective criteria for subjective perceptions?
ABSTRACT Initial bladder filling sensation, first and strong desire to void are subjective perceptions that occur periodically during the urine storage mode of bladder function, representing sensory input from the lower urinary tract. To our knowledge methods for evaluating sensory bladder function are not available. We studied a simple electrophysiological procedure for the objective assessment of bladder sensations using sympathetic skin responses and surface pelvic floor electromyography.
Informed consent was provided by 8 healthy male subjects, who were administered 20 mg. furosemide and 1 l. fluid to drink. Palmar and plantar sympathetic skin responses, and surface pelvic floor electromyogram were continuously recorded during bladder filling, voluntary pelvic floor contraction and voiding.
First desire to void evoked simultaneous sympathetic skin responses and pelvic floor contractions. This pattern appeared periodically with the desire to void sensation as well as with strong desire to void at maximum bladder capacity and it correlated well with the subjective sensation of the subjects. Voluntary pelvic floor contraction decreased the subjective intensity of the desire to void sensation as well as sympathetic skin response activity for the same short period. During voiding sympathetic skin responses almost complete absence of sympathetic skin responses was observed.
Sensations arising from the bladder induce combined activation of sympathetic skin responses and pelvic floor activity. This coherence indicates synchronized activation and inactivation of the autonomic and somatic pathways necessary for appropriate urine storage and coordinated voiding. Our observations may introduce a new approach for objectively assessing subjective sensations arising from the urinary tract.
- Brain 01/1930; 53(2):178-193. · 9.92 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Sympathetic skin response (SSR), defined as the momentary change of the electrical potential of the skin, may be spontaneous or reflexively evoked by a variety of internal or by externally applied arousal stimuli. Although the suprasegmental structures influencing the SSR in humans are not well known, SSR has been proposed as a non-invasive approach to investigate the function of the sympathetic system. SSR is easy to apply but current procedures are not sufficiently reliable for diagnostic purposes, and show imperfect correlations both with clinical features and other measurements of autonomic, in particular, sudomotor dysfunction.Clinical Autonomic Research 09/2003; 13(4):256-70. · 1.48 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Knowledge of how changes in bladder volume and the urge to void affect brain activity is important for understanding brain mechanisms that control urinary continence and micturition. This study used PET to evaluate brain activity associated with different levels of passive bladder filling and the urge to void. Eleven healthy male subjects (three left- and eight right-handed) aged 19-54 years were catheterized and the bladder filled retrogradely per urethra. Twelve PET scans were obtained during two repetitions of each of six bladder volumes, with the subjects rating their perception of urge to void prior to and after each scan. Increased brain activity related to increasing bladder volume was seen in the periaqueductal grey matter (PAG), in the midline pons, in the mid-cingulate cortex and bilaterally in the frontal lobe area. Increased brain activity relating to decreased urge to void was seen in a different portion of the cingulate cortex, in premotor cortex and in the hypothalamus. Both activation patterns were predominantly bilaterally symmetric and none of the effects could be attributed to the presence of the catheter. However, in some subjects, mostly those reporting intrusive sensations from the urethral catheter, there was a discrepancy between filling volume and urge so that they reported high urge with low volumes. As this 'mismatch' decreased, activation increased bilaterally in the somatosensory cortex. Our findings support the hypothesis that the PAG receives information about bladder fullness and relays this information to areas involved in the control of bladder storage. Our results also show that the network of brain regions involved in modulating the perception of the urge to void is distinct from that associated with the appreciation of bladder fullness.Brain 03/2001; 124(Pt 2):369-77. · 9.92 Impact Factor