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Spinal Cord. 2000 Jun;38(6):378-81.

Secretory immunoglobulin A in the vesical urothelium of patients with neuropathic bladder--an immunohistochemical study.

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Regional Spinal Injuries Centre, District General Hospital, Southport, Merseyside PR8 6PN, UK.



A pilot study was carried out on archival material of bladder biopsies taken during 1994 and 1995 from patients with neuropathic bladder.


To compare the pattern of immunostaining for sIgA in the urothelium of biopsies taken from neuropathic bladder with the biopsies obtained from patients with non-neuropathic bladders.


Regional Spinal Injuries Centre, Southport and Department of Pathology, Royal Liverpool University Hospital, Liverpool.


Formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded biopsies of bladder mucosa taken from patients with neuropathic urinary bladder (n=43) during 1994 and 1995 were processed for immunostaining with rabbit polyclonal antibody for secretory component of IgA. Archival specimens of bladder biopsies from non-neuropathic bladder were stained as controls. All sections were stained contemporaneously.


In all the control biopsies, strong immunostaining for sIgA was observed in the superficial cells of transitional epithelium. In the biopsies taken from patients with neuropathic bladder, immunostaining in the transitional epithelium was variable: strong in 14 cases; moderate in four; faint in 16; and absent in three. Immunostaining for sIgA was absent in all the five biopsies in which the urothelium had undergone squamous metaplasia. One biopsy showed intestinal metaplasia; immunostaining for sIgA was seen in the basal cells.


Strong immunostaining for sIgA was observed in the urothelium of all biopsies taken from non-neuropathic bladder. In contrast to this, only 18 of 37 biopsies obtained from neuropathic bladder showed strong or moderate immunostaining for sIgA in the transitional epithelium. Spinal Cord (2000) 38, 378 - 381.

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