Author(s): Rudy DC, Awad SA, Downie JW
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Abstract Some of the characteristics of detrusor-external sphincter dyssynergia were examined in 14 patients with traumatic upper motor neuron lesions within 44 weeks of injury. The sacral evoked response latencies of the male patients were shortened at any time after injury. A continence reflex could be demonstrated in most patients at any time after injury. Comparing averaged values for the group at 4-week intervals, resting pressure at the external urethral sphincter and post-void residual volumes reached nadirs at 12 weeks while voiding efficiency peaked at this time. Thus, voiding function appears to be optimal 12 weeks after injury. During reflex detrusor activity, increases in external urethral sphincter electromyographic activity and external urethral sphincter pressure were associated clearly with a positive slope of the intravesical pressure trace, whereas decreases in both parameters were associated with a negative slope. Voiding occurred only during a negative slope. Although propantheline induced detrusor areflexia, episodic peaks in external urethral sphincter pressure and electromyographic activity continued to occur. We propose that external sphincter dyssynergia, which is independent of detrusor contraction, is the continence reflex exaggerated owing to the loss of supraspinal influences. We believe that the multiple patterns of dyssynergia described previously by others are variations, largely owing to technique, of the single pattern we have observed. The observation of synergic-like urethral responses in some patients during a negative slope of the intravesical pressure, even with complete suprasacral spinal lesions, implies existence of a pathway for synergic-like voiding in the spinal cord.
This article was published in J Urol
and referenced in International Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation