More MS news articles for July 2002

Bladder dysfunction in acute transverse myelitis: magnetic resonance imaging and neurophysiological and urodynamic correlations

Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery and Psychiatry 2002;73:154-159
J Kalita1, S Shah1, R Kapoor2 and U K Misra1
1 Department of Neurology, Sanjay Gandhi PGIMS, Lucknow, India
2 Department of Urology, Sanjay Gandhi PGIMS


To evaluate micturition abnormalities in acute transverse myelitis and correlate these with evoked potentials, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and urodynamic findings.


Tertiary care teaching hospital.


18 patients with acute transverse myelitis, aged 450 years; 15 had paraparesis and three quadriparesis.


Patients with acute transverse myelitis had a neurological evaluation and tibial somatosensory and motor evoked potential studies in the lower limbs. Spinal MRI was carried out using a 1.5 T scanner. Urodynamic studies were done using Dantec UD 5500 equipment. Neurological outcome was determined on the basis of Barthel index score at six months as poor, partial, or complete. In some patients, urodynamic studies were repeated at six and 12 months.


Spinal MRI in 14 of the 18 patients revealed T2 hyperintense signal changes extending for at least three spinal segments in 13; one patient had normal MRI. In the acute stage, 17 patients had a history of urinary retention and one had urge incontinence. On follow up at six months two patients regained normal voiding, retention persisted in six, and storage symptoms developed in 10, of whom five also had emptying difficulties. Urodynamic studies showed an areflexic or hypocontractile bladder in 10, detrusor hyperreflexia with poor compliance in two, and detrusor sphincter dyssynergia in three. Early abnormal urodynamic findings commonly persisted at the six and 12 months examinations. Persistent abnormalities included detrusor hyperreflexia, dyssynergia, and areflexic bladder. The urodynamic abnormalities correlated with muscle tone and reflex changes but not with sensory or motor evoked potentials, muscle power, MRI signal changes, sensory level, or six months outcome.


Bladder dysfunction is common in acute transverse myelitis and may be the only sequel. Urodynamic study is helpful in evaluating the bladder dysfunction and also in its management.

© 2002 Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery and Psychiatry