Search tips
Search criteria 


Logo of jrsocmedLink to Publisher's site
J R Soc Med. 1986 May; 79(5): 270–273.
PMCID: PMC1290310

Bladder muscle biopsy and urethral sphincter EMG in patients with bladder dysfunction after pelvic surgery.


Eleven patients who suffered persistent bladder dysfunction after pelvic surgery have been investigated by needle urethral sphincter electromyography (EMG) and bladder muscle biopsy, and the results compared with those obtained in a series of controls. Individual motor units recorded from the urethral sphincter in patients who had undergone pelvic surgery were strikingly abnormal, suggesting the presence of reinnervation, and the density of detrusor innervation was significantly reduced. However, since reduction in the density of detrusor innervation may occur in circumstances other than peripheral nerve injury, we conclude that urethral sphincter EMG provides the most effective means of assessing damage to vesico-urethral innervation as a result of previous pelvic surgery.

Full text

Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. Get a printable copy (PDF file) of the complete article (740K), or click on a page image below to browse page by page. Links to PubMed are also available for Selected References.

Images in this article

Click on the image to see a larger version.

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Glass RL, Spratt JS. Urinary complications after abdominoperineal resection of the rectum in men. Am Surg. 1968 Mar;34(3):238–241. [PubMed]
  • Rankin JT. Urological complications of rectal surgery. Br J Urol. 1969 Dec;41(6):655–659. [PubMed]
  • Kontturi M, Larmi TK, Tuononen S. Bladder dysfunction and its manifestations following abdominoperineal extirpation of the rectum. Ann Surg. 1974 Feb;179(2):179–182. [PubMed]
  • Fowler JW, Bremner DN, Moffat LE. The incidence and consequences of damage to the parasympathetic nerve supply to the bladder after abdominoperineal resection of the rectum for carcinoma. Br J Urol. 1978 Apr;50(2):95–98. [PubMed]
  • Gerstenberg TC, Nielsen ML, Clausen S, Blaabjerg J, Lindenberg J. Bladder function after abdominoperineal resection of the rectum for anorectal cancer. Urodynamic investigation before and after operative in a consecutive series. Ann Surg. 1980 Jan;191(1):81–86. [PubMed]
  • Seski JC, Diokno AC. Bladder dysfunction after radical abdominal hysterectomy. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1977 Jul 15;128(6):643–651. [PubMed]
  • Smith PH, Ballantyne B. The neuroanatomical basis for denervation of the urinary bladder following major pelvic surgery. Br J Surg. 1968 Dec;55(12):929–933. [PubMed]
  • Mundy AR. An anatomical explanation for bladder dysfunction following rectal and uterine surgery. Br J Urol. 1982 Oct;54(5):501–504. [PubMed]
  • Blaivas JG, Barbalias GA. Characteristics of neural injury after abdominoperineal resection. J Urol. 1983 Jan;129(1):84–87. [PubMed]
  • Fowler CJ, Kirby RS, Harrison MJ, Milroy EJ, Turner-Warwick R. Individual motor unit analysis in the diagnosis of disorders of urethral sphincter innervation. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 1984 Jun;47(6):637–641. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Dixon JS, Gilpin SA, Gilpin CJ, Gosling JA. Intramural ganglia of the human urinary bladder. Br J Urol. 1983 Apr;55(2):195–198. [PubMed]
  • Neal DE. The effects on pelvic visceral function of anal sphincter ablating and anal sphincter preserving operations for cancer of the lower part of the rectum and for benign colo-rectal disease. Ann R Coll Surg Engl. 1984 Jan;66(1):7–13. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

Articles from Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine are provided here courtesy of Royal Society of Medicine Press