Quantification of bladder wall biomechanics during urodynamics: A methodologic investigation using ultrasound.
Tension-sensitive nerves in the bladder wall are responsible for providing bladder sensation. Bladder wall tension, and therefore nerve output, is a function of bladder pressure, volume, geometry and material properties. The elastic modulus of the bladder is acutely adjustable, and this material property is responsible for adjustable preload tension exhibited in human and rabbit detrusor muscle strips and dynamic elasticity revealed during comparative-fill urodynamics in humans. A finite deformation model of the bladder was previously used to predict filling pressure and wall tension using uniaxial tension test data and the results showed that wall tension can increase significantly during filling with relatively little pressure change. In the present study, published uniaxial rabbit detrusor data were used to quantify regulated changes in the elastic modulus, and the finite deformation model was expanded to illustrate the potential effects of elasticity changes on pressure and wall tension during filling. The model demonstrates a shift between relatively flat pressure-volume filling curves, which is consistent with a recent human urodynamics study, and also predicts that dynamic elasticity would produce significant changes in wall tension during filling. The model results support the conclusion that acute regulation of bladder elasticity could contribute to significant changes in wall tension for a given volume that could lead to urgency, and that a single urodynamic fill may be insufficient to characterize bladder biomechanics. The model illustrates the potential value of quantifying wall tension in addition to pressure during urodynamics.