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Summary— Muscle strips from urodynamically normal bladders and from bladders exhibiting idiopathic detrusor instability or detrusor hyper-reflexia were compared under isometric conditions in an organ bath. Spontaneous contractions developed more often in unstable and hyper-reflexic muscle and were of greater amplitude, frequency and basal tension.

Electrical field stimulation caused a frequency-dependent contraction which was largely abolished by both tetrodotoxin (TTX) and atropine in all three muscle types. Comparison of their frequency response curves demonstrated a significantly greater sensitivity than that of unstable and hyper-reflexic muscle to low stimulation frequencies.

Acetylcholine caused a dose-related contractile response in all muscle types. There were no significant differences between the dose response curves of unstable and hyper-reflexic muscle, and those of normal muscle.

The results suggest that the pathophysiology of the involuntary detrusor contraction is common to both idiopathic detrusor instability and detrusor hyper-reflexia and that this is related to a disorder of an intrinsic neuromodulatory mechanism within the detrusor muscle.