Aims: Recent studies have used different neuroimaging techniques and identified various brain regions that are activated during bladder filling. However, there is a lack of consensus regarding which of these brain regions regulate the process of urine storage. The aim of this meta-analysis is to identify brain regions that are commonly activated during bladder filling in healthy adults across different studies.
Methods: PubMed was searched for neuroimaging studies investigating the effects of bladder filling on regional brain activation. Studies were excluded if they did not report brain activation differences from whole-brain group analysis by comparing the state of bladder filling with the state of bladder rest. The current version of the activation likelihood estimation (ALE) approach was used for meta-analysis.
Results: We identified 14 neuroimaging studies examining brain activation in response to experimental bladder filling in 181 healthy subjects, which reported 89 foci for ALE analysis. The meta-analysis revealed significant activation in multiple brain regions including thalamus (bilaterally), right insula, cerebellum, and brainstem (bilaterally).
Conclusions: Several key brain regions involved in sensory processing are commonly activated during bladder filling in healthy adults across different studies. Neurourol. Urodynam. 36:960-965, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Keywords: brain; functional neuroimaging; meta-analysis; urinary bladder.
© 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.