The use of silver nitrate for chemical de-epithelialization and urothelialization of intestine in a rabbit model of augmentation cystoplasty

Urol Res. 2003 Aug;31(4):236-41. doi: 10.1007/s00240-003-0311-8. Epub 2003 Jun 12.


Urinary tract reconstruction using bowel segments can result in complications such as electrolyte abnormalities, infections, stones and cancer. Intestinal mucosa is the primary site responsible for these complications. De-epithelialization of the mucosa and subsequent urothelialization might alleviate these problems. We recently reported our success in de-epithelialization and subsequent uroepithelialization of intestinal segments using 10 g/100 ml AgNO(3) solution in a rat model of augmentation. In this study, chemical de-epithelialization of a colonic segment was attempted using 10 g/100 ml AgNO(3) solution in a rabbit model of augmentation. Sigmoid cystoplasty was performed in 20 male New Zealand rabbits using a 6 cm patch of sigmoid colon. There were two groups, including one group of five rabbits (control, group 1) that underwent augmentation alone, while another group (15 rabbits, treatment group or group 2) was treated with 10 g/100 ml AgNO(3 )solution before augmentation. Control rabbits were killed at the week 8 of experimentation. Treatment rabbits were killed at 2-, 4-, 6- and 8-week intervals. Immediately before augmentation and at the end of the 8 week experimental period each rabbit underwent cystometry. De-epithelialization of the bowel epithelium without urothelialization was apparent in the treatment rabbits killed at 2 and 4 weeks. Histological analysis revealed almost complete urothelialization of the augmented sections treated with 10 g/100 ml AgNO(3 )solution at the end of the 6 and 8 week of experimental periods. The preoperative and postoperative bladder capacities increased substantially in all groups. There was no obvious histologic difference in the amount of collagen present in the augmented tissues in any of the experimental groups. The present study confirmed that the treatment of intestinal segments with 10 g/100 ml AgNO(3 )solution led to chemical de-epithelialization and urothelialization of the augmented segments. This procedure could, theoretically, have applications to human surgery.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Collagen / metabolism
  • Cystoscopy / methods
  • Intestines / drug effects*
  • Intestines / surgery*
  • Male
  • Postoperative Complications / pathology
  • Postoperative Complications / prevention & control
  • Rabbits
  • Silver Nitrate / pharmacology*
  • Urinary Bladder / pathology
  • Urinary Bladder / surgery*
  • Urothelium / drug effects*
  • Urothelium / metabolism
  • Urothelium / pathology


  • Collagen
  • Silver Nitrate