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01.12.2015 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2015 Open Access

BMC Urology 1/2015

Preclinical assessment of potential interactions between botulinum toxin and neuromodulation for bladder micturition reflex

BMC Urology > Ausgabe 1/2015
Xin Su, Angela Nickles, Dwight E. Nelson
Wichtige Hinweise

Competing interests

All authors are employees of the Medtronic, plc. The research was funded by Medtronic, plc.

Authors’ contributions

XS designed the study, performed data analysis and drafted the manuscript. AN performed the experiment, DEN helped to draft the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.



While botulinum toxin A (BoNT-A) has become a more commonly used second-line treatment for patients with detrusor overactivity, it remains unknown whether the impacts of this therapy may persist to influence other therapies such as sacral neuromodulation. In this preclinical study we have evaluated urodynamic functions to intradetrusor injection of BoNT-A and the bladder inhibitory effects of spinal nerve stimulation (SNS) following BoNT-A treatment.


Female rats were anesthetized with 3 % isoflurane. BoNT-A (2 units, 0.2 ml) or saline were injected into the detrusor. Rats then were housed for 2 days to 1 month before neuromodulation study. Monopolar electrodes were placed under each of the L6 spinal nerve bilaterally under urethane anesthesia. A bladder cannula was inserted via the urethra for saline infusion and intravesical pressure recording.


Intradetrusor injection of BoNT-A for 1–2 weeks or 1 month significantly increased bladder capacity compared with saline injection (p < 0.05, two-way ANOVA). Following BoNT-A, SNS attenuated the frequency of bladder contractions, either eliminating bladder contractions or reducing the contraction frequency during electrical stimulation. Inhibition of the contraction frequency by SNS following BoNT-A treated rats was not different from that measured following saline injection.


BoNT-A increased the bladder capacity, but compensating for additional saline infusion to the enlarged urinary bladder in BoNT-A pretreated rats, the bladder contractions induced by bladder filling were attenuated by SNS. BoNT-A did not alter the ability of SNS to inhibit bladder contraction following intradetrusor injection of BoNT-A for 2 days, 1–2 weeks or 1 month. These results support further pre-clinical and clinical studies to evaluate potential interactions or combination therapy with neuromodulation and intradetrusor BoNT-A therapeutic approaches.
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