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Perioperative Betamethasone Treatment Reduces Signs of Bladder Dysfunction in a Rat Model for Neurapraxia in Female Urogenital Surgery
San Raffaele University, Italy .
San Raffaele University, Italy .
San Raffaele University, Italy .
Johns Hopkins University, MD, USA .
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2012 (English)In: European Urology, ISSN 0302-2838, E-ISSN 1873-7560, Vol. 62, no 6, 1076-1085 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]


Information on autonomic neurapraxia in female urogenital surgery is scarce, and a model to study it is not available.


To develop a model to study the impact of autonomic neurapraxia on bladder function in female rats, as well as to assess the effects of corticosteroid therapy on the recovery of bladder function in this model.


Female Sprague-Dawley rats were subjected to bilateral pelvic nerve crush (PNC) and perioperatively treated with betamethasone or vehicle. Bladder function and morphology of bladder tissue were evaluated and compared with sham-operated rats.


Western blot, immunohistochemistry, organ bath experiments, and cystometry.


Sham-operated rats exhibited regular micturitions without nonvoiding contractions (NVCs). Crush of all nerve branches of the pelvic plexus or PNC resulted in overflow incontinence and/or NVCs. Betamethasone treatment improved recovery of regular micturitions (87.5% compared with 27% for vehicle; p<0.05), reduced lowest bladder pressure (8 ± 2 cm H(2)O compared with 21 ± 5 cm H(2)O for vehicle; p<0.05), and reduced the amplitude of NVCs but had no effect on NVC frequency in PNC rats. Compared with vehicle, betamethasone-treated PNC rats had less CD68 (a macrophage marker) in the pelvic plexus and bladder tissue. Isolated bladder from betamethasone-treated PNC rats exhibited better nerve-induced contractions, contained more cholinergic and sensory nerves, and expressed lower amounts of collagen III than bladder tissue from vehicle-treated rats.


PNC causes autonomic neurapraxia and functional and morphologic changes of isolated bladder tissue that can be recorded as bladder dysfunction during awake cystometry in female rats. Perioperative systemic betamethasone treatment reduced macrophage contents of the pelvic plexus and bladder, partially counteracted changes in the bladder tissue, and had protective effects on micturition function.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2012. Vol. 62, no 6, 1076-1085 p.
Keyword [en]
Model, Pelvic, Surgery, Nerve sparing, Neuropraxia, Detrusor overactivity, Corticosteroids
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-86111DOI: 10.1016/j.eururo.2012.04.037ISI: 000310783500031PubMedID: 22542670OAI: diva2:575139

Funding Agencies|Swedish Medical Research Council||Gester Foundation||Urological Research Institute||

Available from: 2012-12-07 Created: 2012-12-07 Last updated: 2013-08-08Bibliographically approved

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Hedlund, Petter
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Clinical PharmacologyFaculty of Health SciencesDepartment of Clinical Pharmacology
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