Monitoring of lower urinary tract function in patients with spinal cord injury using near infrared spectroscopy
Background: One of the most important conditions where there is loss of normal bladder function is spinal cord injury (SCI). Currently, evaluation of bladder function is limited to periodic invasive urodynamic testing (UDS). The purpose of this study was to assess the feasibility and usefulness of near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) in monitoring bladder function in patients with SCI during bladder filling and emptying and to investigate the correlations of NIRS measures with simultaneous UDS parameters. NIRS is a non-invasive optical method to study tissue oxygenation, hemodynamics and function by monitoring changes in the chromophore concentrations of oxygenated (O 2Hb), deoxygenated (HHb) and total hemoglobin (tHb). Methods: 10 adult paraplegic patients with neurogenic bladder dysfunction who were referred for regular urodynamic evaluation were recruited. Changes in O 2Hb, HHb and tHb, and tissue saturation index (TSI%) in the detrusor were monitored and recorded by a wireless NIRS system during the urodynamic evaluation. Time points of urgency and urinary leakage were marked and patterns of change in NIRS parameters were compared to standard urodynamic pressure tracings. Results: Strong consistency between changes in NIRS-derived tHb and changes in intravesical pressure were observed during filling across the subjects. During bladder filling a gradual increase in O 2Hb and tHb with minimal changes in HHb was observed. Interestingly, a drop in TSI% was detected seconds before strong urgency and urinary leakage. Conclusions: Our preliminary data suggest a relationship between noninvasive NIRS measures and UDS parameters during bladder filling in SCI patients. © 2012 SPIE.