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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Role of positive urethrovesical feedback in vesical evacuation. The concept of a second micturition reflex: the urethrovesical reflex.

Upon feeling the urge to urinate, the urinary bladder contracts, the urethral sphincters relax and urine flows through the urethra. These actions are mediated by the micturition reflex. We investigated the hypothesis that vesical contraction is maintained by positive feedback through continuous flow of urine through the urethra, and that the cessation of urine flow aborts detrusor contraction. Normal saline was infused into the urinary bladders of 17 healthy volunteers (age 35.2 years+/-4.2(SD); ten women and seven men) at a rate of 100 ml/min. On urge, which occurred at a mean volume of 408.6 ml+/-28.7 of saline, the subject micturated while the vesical and urethral pressures during voiding were being recorded; residual urine was measured. The test was repeated after anesthetizing the urethra with xylocaine gel or, on another occasion, after applying a bland gel. On micturition, the urine was evacuated as a continuous stream without straining; no residual fluid was collected. After urethral anesthetization, the fluid came out of the urethra in multiple intermittent spurts and only with excessive straining. There was a large amount of residual fluid (184.6 ml+/-28.4). The results of bland gel application showed no significant difference ( P>0.05) from those without gel. Detrusor contraction during micturition is suggested to be maintained by positive urethrovesical feedback elicited by the continued passage of urine through the urethra. This feedback seems to be effected through the urethrovesical reflex, which produces vesical contraction on stimulation of the urethral stretch receptors. Abortion of this reflex by urethral anesthetization resulted in failure of detrusor contraction and excessive straining was needed to achieve bladder evacuation in multiple spurts. The urethrovesical reflex is thus assumed to constitute a second micturition reflex responsible for the continuation of detrusor contraction and urination. The role of this reflex in the pathogenesis of micturition disorders needs to be studied.[1]


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