TENS attenuates response to colon distension in paraplegic and quadriplegic rats.

Abstract

Individuals with spinal cord injuries above thoracic level 6 experience episodic bouts of life-threatening hypertension as part of a condition termed autonomic dysreflexia (AD). The hypertension can be caused by stimulation of the skin, distension of the urinary bladder or colon, and/or muscle spasms. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) may reduce the severity of AD because TENS has been used to inhibit second-order neurons in the dorsal horn. Therefore, we tested the hypothesis that TENS attenuates the hemodynamic responses to colon distension. Eleven Wistar rats underwent spinal cord transection between thoracic vertebrae 4 and 5 (paraplegic, n = 6) or between cervical vertebra 7 and thoracic vertebra 1 (quadriplegic, n = 5). After recovery, all rats were instrumented with a radiotelemetry device for recording arterial pressure. Subsequently, the hemodynamic responses to graded colon distension were determined before and during TENS. During TENS the hemodynamic responses to colon distension were significantly attenuated. Thus TENS may be a preventive approach to reduce the severity of AD in paraplegic and quadriplegic individuals.

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@article{Collins2002TENSAR, title={TENS attenuates response to colon distension in paraplegic and quadriplegic rats.}, author={Heidi L Collins and Stephen E DiCarlo}, journal={American journal of physiology. Heart and circulatory physiology}, year={2002}, volume={283 4}, pages={H1734-9} }