Changes in bladder wall blood oxygen saturation in the overactive obstructed bladder
Purpose: Several studies suggest that hypoxia of the bladder wall contributes to bladder dysfunction but the exact relation between bladder function and blood oxygen saturation, a surrogate marker for hypoxia, is not known. We determined bladder wall blood oxygen saturation in vivo in an animal model of bladder outlet obstruction to establish the exact relation between blood oxygen saturation and bladder function. Materials and Methods: In 8 sham operated and 8 urethrally obstructed guinea pigs we measured blood oxygen saturation of the bladder wall by differential path length spectroscopy before surgery and 8 weeks postoperatively. Urodynamic investigations performed during the whole 8-week period provided data on bladder function. Results: Before surgery and 8 weeks after sham surgery blood oxygen saturation in the bladder wall was between 88% and 95% during filling. It decreased during voiding and returned to greater than 90% within 30 seconds. Eight weeks after obstruction saturation was significantly lower than in the sham operated group during filling and voiding. The decrease was positively related to bladder pressure during filling and voiding, and was more pronounced when overactivity was present. Local bladder contractions occurred without a measurable increase in bladder pressure but were associated with a decrease in saturation. Conclusions: A normal bladder maintains a high oxygen saturation level during filling. Bladder obstruction compromises this ability, especially when it involves overactivity. Local bladder contractions without a measurable increase in bladder pressure were associated with a decrease in blood saturation.