In this study, the voiding phase of the micturition cycle in the anesthetized rat and guinea pig is analyzed. In both animals, voiding is characterized by an increase in intravesical pressure and then a decrease, which is accompanied by flow through the urethra and emission of urine. An ultrasonic flow probe was used in both species to measure the flow rate in relation to the intravesical pressure. In the (male) rat, so-called high-frequency oscillations are superimposed on the decreasing bladder pressure. These oscillations do not occur in the guinea pig. It is concluded that the high-frequency oscillations are caused by intermittent flow and not by variations in the bladder contraction. The intermittent flow most likely is caused by the relaxation and contraction of the external urethral sphincter and may have a function in territory marking. In our view, it is not likely that the oscillations enhance bladder emptying, as has been suggested in the literature.

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American Journal of Physiology: Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

van Asselt, E., Groen, J., & van Mastrigt, R. (1995). A comparative study of voiding in rat and guinea pig: simultaneous measurement of flow rate and pressure. American Journal of Physiology: Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology, 98–103. Retrieved from