UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Assessing Neurogenic Lower Urinary Tract Dysfunction after Spinal Cord Injury : Animal Models in Preclinical Neuro-Urology Research Doelman, Adam; Streijger, Femke; Majerus, Steve J. A.; Damaser, Margot S.; Kwon, Brian K.


Neurogenic bladder dysfunction is a condition that affects both bladder storage and voiding function and remains one of the leading causes of morbidity after spinal cord injury (SCI). The vast majority of individuals with severe SCI develop neurogenic lower urinary tract dysfunction (NLUTD), with symptoms ranging from neurogenic detrusor overactivity, detrusor sphincter dyssynergia, or sphincter underactivity depending on the location and extent of the spinal lesion. Animal models are critical to our fundamental understanding of lower urinary tract function and its dysfunction after SCI, in addition to providing a platform for the assessment of potential therapies. Given the need to develop and evaluate novel assessment tools, as well as therapeutic approaches in animal models of SCI prior to human translation, urodynamics assessment techniques have been implemented to measure NLUTD function in a variety of animals, including rats, mice, cats, dogs and pigs. In this narrative review, we summarize the literature on the use of animal models for cystometry testing in the assessment of SCI-related NLUTD. We also discuss the advantages and disadvantages of various animal models, and opportunities for future research.

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