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Ther Adv Urol. 2014 Jun;6(3):105-14. doi: 10.1177/1756287214526768.

Pharmacological treatment of chronic pelvic ischemia.

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AIAS, Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies, Aarhus University, Høegh-Guldbergs Gade 6B, building 1632, 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark.
Division of Bioengineering and LUTD Research, Nihon University College of Engineering, Koriyama, Japan.
Department of Urology, Interdisciplinary Graduate School of Medicine, University of Yamanashi, Chuo City, Yamanashi, Japan.


Epidemiological studies have shown that lower urinary tract symptoms, including overactive bladder, commonly occur in both men and women, with an age-related increase in both sexes. Vascular endothelial dysfunction and urological symptoms are common in the metabolic syndrome; they also occur during the human ageing process and are independent risk factors for the development of atherosclerosis and hypertension. Pelvic arterial insufficiency may lead to impaired lower urinary tract perfusion and play an important role in the development of bladder dysfunction such as detrusor overactivity and overactive bladder. It seems reasonable, but has not been definitely established clinically, that chronic ischemia-related bladder dysfunction will progress to bladder underactivity. Studies in experimental models in rabbits and rats have shown that pelvic arterial insufficiency may result in significant bladder ischemia with reduced bladder wall oxygen tension, oxidative stress, increased muscarinic receptor activity, ultrastructural damage, and neurodegeneration. Several types of drug may be able to prevent some of these changes. Even if the α1-adrenoceptor blocker, silodosin, the phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitor, tadalafil, the β3-α1-adrenoceptor agonist, mirabegron, and the free radical scavenger, melatonin, were unable to prevent the development of neointimal hyperplasia and consequent luminal occlusion in animal models, they all exerted a protecting effect on urodynamic parameters, and on the functional and morphological changes of the bladder demonstrable in vitro. The different mechanisms of action of the drugs suggest that many factors are involved in the pathogenesis of chronic ischemia-induced bladder dysfunction and can be targets for intervention. Since several of the agents tested are used clinically and effectively for relieving lower urinary tract symptoms, the results from animal models of chronic bladder ischemia seem to have translational value. Animal models may be of relevance for designing clinical studies to demonstrate if a certain drug may prevent progression of ischemia-related functional and morphological bladder changes.


animal models; free radical scavengers; phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors; α1-adrenoceptor antagonists; β3-α1-adrenoceptor agonists

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