Long-term follow-up of sphincterotomy in the treatment of autonomic dysreflexia

Neurourol Urodyn. 1995;14(1):43-6. doi: 10.1002/nau.1930140108.


Autonomic dysreflexia (AD) is a syndrome affecting a majority of patients with high spinal cord lesions. An association between AD and detrusor-sphincter dyssynergia (DSD) is often seen. Between 1980 and 1988 we performed 51 transurethral sphincterotomies in 38 patients. Twelve of these patients underwent procedures primarily for the prevention of AD related to bladder distension. This study presents their long-term follow-up. One patient was lost to follow-up secondary to unrelated death; the remaining 11 patients were followed on average 117.5 months (94-154) after the initial operative procedure. Repeat sphincterotomy was required in 9 of 11 patients (82%). Six (66%) of these were performed within 24 months. One patient (11%) required delayed sphincterotomy greater than 100 months from the initial procedure. Overall, sphincterotomy was successful in controlling symptoms of AD in 10 of 11 (91%) patients. No major complications were recorded. Sphincterotomy is a safe and effective treatment for AD associated with DSD, however long-term urologic follow-up and management are necessary.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Autonomic Nervous System Diseases / surgery*
  • Follow-Up Studies*
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Spinal Cord Injuries
  • Urinary Bladder Diseases
  • Urinary Tract / surgery*