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Detecting the onset of hyper-reflexive bladder contractions from the electrical activity of the pudendal nerve

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4 Author(s)
Wenzel, B.J. ; Dept. of Biomed. Eng., Case Western Reserve Univ., Cleveland, OH, USA ; Boggs, J.W. ; Gustafson, K.J. ; Grill, Warren M.

Individuals with a spinal cord injury or neurological disorders may develop involuntary bladder contractions at low volumes (bladder hyper-reflexia), which can lead to significant health problems. Present devices can inhibit unwanted contractions through continuous stimulation, but do not enable conditional stimulation only at the onset of bladder contractions. The objectives of this study were to determine the relationship between the electrical activity of the pudendal nerve trunk (PNT) and bladder pressure during hyper-reflexive bladder contractions and to determine whether PNT activity could be used to detect the contractions. Bladder pressure and PNT electroneurogram (ENG) were recorded in eight adult male cats. The PNT ENG activity increased at the onset of a bladder contraction and the activity during bladder contractions was greater than during the intercontraction interval (p<0.001). Three algorithms were developed to detect the onset of a bladder contraction from the PNT ENG activity. A cumulative sum (CUSUM) algorithm performed better than either a constant threshold or a dynamic threshold algorithm, and enabled detection of reflex bladder contractions from the PNT ENG an average of 1.2 s after the contraction started with an average increase in pressure 7.1 cmH2·O when evaluated on data not used to set detection parameters. These data demonstrated that recordings from the PNT could be used to detect hyper-reflexive bladder contractions and provide a signal to control closed-loop inhibitory stimulation.

Published in:

Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:13 ,  Issue: 3 )