Table of Contents
International Journal of Spectroscopy
Volume 2011, Article ID 814179, 8 pages
Research Article

Near-Infrared Spectroscopy of the Bladder: New Parameters for Evaluating Voiding Dysfunction

1Departments of Paediatrics and Urology, UBC Hospital Bladder Care Centre, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Unit 1B Room F329, 221 Wesbrook Mall, Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T 1Z3
2Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study, Wallenberg Research Centre, 10 Marais Street, Stellenbosch 7600, South Africa
3Department of Urology, Britsh Columbia’s Children’ Hospital, Faculty of Medicine, Room K0-134, 4480 Oak Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada V6H 3V4

Received 25 December 2010; Accepted 13 March 2011

Academic Editor: Maher S. Amer

Copyright © 2011 Andrew Macnab et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We describe innovative methodology for monitoring alterations in bladder oxygenation and haemodynamics in humans using near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS). Concentrations of the chromophores oxygenated (O2Hb) and deoxygenated (HHb) haemoglobin and their sum (total haemoglobin) differ during bladder contraction in health and disease. A wireless device that incorporates three paired light emitting diodes (wavelengths 760 and 850 nanometers) and silicon photodiode detector collects data transcutaneously (10 Hz) with the emitter/detector over the bladder during spontaneous bladder emptying. Data analysis indicates comparable patterns of change in chromophore concentration in healthy children and adults (positive trend during voiding, predominantly due to elevated O2Hb), but different changes in symptomatic subjects with characteristic chromophore patterns identified for voiding dysfunction due to specific pathophysiologies: bladder outlet obstruction (males), overactive bladder (females), and nonneurogenic dysfunction (children). Comparison with NIRS muscle data suggests altered bladder haemodynamics and/or oxygenation may underlie voiding dysfunction offering new insight into the causal physiology.