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A novel, non - invasive measure of bladder function in spinal cord injured rats



A novel, non - invasive measure of bladder function in spinal cord injured rats



Society for Neuroscience Abstract Viewer & Itinerary Planner : Abstract No 954 17



Here we report the development and efficacy of a novel method to measure and monitor bladder function recovery following spinal cord injury using a handheld digital ultrasound imaging system. Residual bladder volume in uninjured control and moderately contused adult rats was measured every other day using ultrasound, without the severe animal stress, animal pain and procedural artifact associated with the use of a catheter. Locomotor analysis was performed every other day using the BBB locomotor rating scale. We have documented that the average bladder volume of contused and control animals calculated using ultrasound correlates significantly with the actual bladder volume calculated by emptying and weighing the urine immediately after ultrasound assessment, as well as with locomotor performance. Our studies confirm previous reports that contusive spinal cord injury results in high residual volume in the bladder, which partially recovers over time. Our results demonstrate that bladder volume immediately after injury can be used to predict bladder volume, and hence efficacy, at late stages after injury; animals that recovered bladder function by 12 days post-injury had lower initial bladder volumes than animals with dysfunctional bladders at 40 days post-injury. These data have been correlated with histological analyses of changes in collagen I and III levels which are associated with obstructed and neurogenic bladders. This model allows a non-invasive assessment of bladder function with no impact on locomotor function or assessment. This protocol also provides researchers with a quantifiable, clinically relevant outcome measure for experimental treatments for spinal cord injury besides locomotor analyses. These studies were supported by individual donations to the Reeve-Irvine Research Center.

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Accession: 034312805

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