Setting a new standard: Updating the vaginal distention translational model for stress urinary incontinence


  • Heinz Koelbl led the review process.

  • Conflict of interest: none.



The vaginal distention (VD) translational model for postpartum stress urinary incontinence (SUI) is potentially biased for use in evaluating animals with increasing phenotypic size (obesity) due to a fixed VD volume. Our study had three principle and two secondary aims. First, to examine both ex vivo and in vivo catheter pressure changes during volume distention. Secondly, to determine mean pressure at current volume standard for use as target pressure (TP) for VD under isobaric (IB) conditions. Thirdly, to demonstrate feasibility and equivalence of VD at TP versus isovolumetric (IV) standard. Secondary aims were to demonstrate decreased variability (IB vs. IV) and to review the effect of weight.


Ten French modified Foley catheters were inflated sequentially to 3.0 ml while connected (both in vivo and ex vivo) to a pressure transducer. Mean result generated TP. Thirty Sprague–Dawley rats (280–300 g) were then randomized to one of three groups: IV, IB at TP, or sham VD. Student's t-test was used to compare groups' leak point pressures (LPP) and simple linear regression was used to evaluate the effect of weight as a continuous variable.


Catheter pressure/volume responses were demonstrated. Calculated TP was 531 mm Hg. LPP under conditions of IB and IV were statistically equivalent and were statistically lower than Sham. Variability was not statistically different between IB and IV groups. When treated as a continuous variable, weight had no effect on LPP.


VD injury based on TP is feasible and reproducible. Understanding catheter pressure dynamics is valuable for investigating alternative rat phenotypes. Neurourol. Urodynam. 31:190–194, 2012. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.