The neurological bladder caused by spinal cord injury (SCI) presents a significant medical and social problem. There is no satisfactory treatment yet. Supported by the Paralyzed Veterans of America and NIH, a new reflex pathway, """"""""Skin-CNS-Bladder"""""""" for controlled micturition after SCI has been successfully established in rat, cat and canine models. Preliminary clinical application of 14 SCI patients also provided very promising results. The study proposed here is to transfer the Skin-CNS-Bladder reflex functions. The ventral root (VR) of a lumbar nerve (L5) below the spinal cord lesion will be anastomosed to the sacral VR (S2 and/or S3) which innervate the bladder, while leaving the intact L5 dorsal root (DR) as a started of micturition. After the axonal regeneration, controllable voiding would be initiated by scratching the L4 dermatome. Effect of the new reflex pathway on bladder function will be evaluated by means of electrophysiology and urodynamics. Its effect on bowel and sexual functions will also be studied. The procedure may revolutionize the treatment of neurogenic bladder after SCI, It requires relatively minor surgery on 2 paralyzed nerves. It does not involve implantation of electrodes or other devices but provides unique voluntary control of bladder emptying. Scientifically, the study will further prove the new concept derived from the unique somatic-autonomic reflex that the impulses delivered from the efferent neurons of a somatic reflex arc may be transferred to initiate response of an autonomic effector. This new concept may be widely useful, not only for neurogenic bladder, but also for other problems caused by the spinal cord injury or diseases.
|Xiao, Chuan-Guo (2006) Reinnervation for neurogenic bladder: historic review and introduction of a somatic-autonomic reflex pathway procedure for patients with spinal cord injury or spina bifida. Eur Urol 49:22-8; discussion 28-9|