Investigating afferent nerve activity from the lower urinary tract: Highlighting some basic research techniques and clinical evaluation methods


  • Jean Jacques Wyndaele

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Urology, University Antwerp and Antwerp University Hospital, UZA, Edegem, Belgium
    • Professor and Chair, Department of Urology, University Antwerp and University Hospital Antwerp, UZA, 10 Wilrijkstraat, B 2650 Edegem, Belgium.
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  • Conflicts of interest: none.

  • Christopher Chapple led the review process.



To give a review of some basic research recording and clinical evaluations of bladder afferent nerves and the sensory information related to them.


Literature survey.


Direct investigation of the afferent nerve pathways of the lower urinary tract (LUT) can be done in animal studies where potentials can be recorded and measured directly in the dorsal roots after laminectomy. Differentiation between A delta and C fibers is possible when conduction speed is determined. In humans afferent innervation can be studied clinically with determination of the sensation on sensation-related bladder diary, during cystometrical bladder filling, with local electrical stimulation. All need further study. Electrodiagnostic tests are further explored.


Both basic research and clinical evaluation of afferent nerves and sensory function in the LUT are possible. To find out how both relate to each other, and how this function can be evaluated, is the task to be done now. Neurourol. Urodynam. 29: 56–62, 2010. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.