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J Urol. 2011 Jul;186(1):334-40. doi: 10.1016/j.juro.2011.03.035. Epub 2011 May 20.

Effect of ovariectomy on external urethral sphincter activity in anesthetized female rats.

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  • 1Division of Urology, Department of Surgery, Taichung Veterans General Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan, Republic of China. cheng20011@gmail.com



The postmenopausal hypoestrogen condition is associated with various lower urinary tract dysfunctions, including frequency, urgency, stress urinary incontinence and recurrent urinary infection. We determined whether hypoestrogen induced lower urinary tract dysfunction after ovariectomy is also associated with an alteration in external urethral sphincter activity.


Bilateral ovariectomy was performed in female Sprague-Dawley® rats and sham operated rats served as controls. Transvesical cystometry and external urethral sphincter electromyogram activity were monitored 4, 6 and 12 weeks after sham operation or bilateral ovariectomy and at 6 weeks in bilaterally ovariectomized rats treated with estrogen.


The micturition reflex was elicited in sham operated and bilaterally ovariectomized, urethane anesthetized animals. Post-void residual urine increased and voiding efficiency decreased in rats with 4 to 12 weeks of bilateral ovariectomy. The silent period of external urethral sphincter electromyogram activity was shortened significantly and progressively at increased times after bilateral ovariectomy. These effects were prevented by estradiol treatment.


As evidenced by shortening of the external urethral sphincter electromyogram silent period in ovariectomized rats, the disruption of coordination between the external urethral sphincter and the detrusor muscle could decrease urine outflow and in turn voiding efficiency. Estrogen replacement reverses these changes, suggesting that the central pathways responsible for detrusor-sphincter coordination are modulated by gonadal hormones.

Copyright © 2011 American Urological Association Education and Research, Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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