We evaluated the diagnostic use of the bladder cooling test in children with neurogenic bladder dysfunction.
Materials and Methods
We performed 201 bladder cooling tests in 65 female and 43 male patients 5 days to 17 years old, including 70 with myelomeningocele, 12 with high spinal lesions, 9 with sacral spinal lesions and 17 with encephalopathy of various types. At the end of routine cystometry we rapidly infused body temperature saline to approximately a third of cystometric capacity, followed by the same volume of saline at 4 to 8C. The test was considered positive when a detrusor contraction greater than 30 cm. water was evoked by the cold but not the warm infusion.
The bladder cooling test was positive in 37 children younger than 4 years, at which age it is normally positive. The test was negative in only 2 patients, indicating a complete lower motor neuron lesion. It was positive in 34 of the 57 children older than 6 years, at which age it should be negative. Thus, the positive bladder cooling test confirmed neurogenic bladder dysfunction. Four of the 20 children with a negative test voided normally, while the remainder had no voiding contractions, suggesting a nonfunctional spinal sacral reflex arch to the bladder.
The bladder cooling test is a simple, reliable assessment that may serve to demonstrate a functional sacral reflex arch in young patients without voiding contractions or confirm a suspected lower motor neuron lesion. It may be used longitudinally to demonstrate changes in bladder function with growth.
1999. Vol. 161, no 1, 254-258 p.