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The goal of this study is to evaluate a surgical procedure (operation) that reroutes lumbar to sacral nerves in the spinal column to improve the bladder's ability to empty properly in patients born with Spina Bifida.
Spina Bifida (a congenital defect of the spinal cord), causes nerve damage and a loss of sensation and muscle function below the waist resulting in bowel and bladder dysfunction. Patients cannot urinate or are constantly wet, and this continues throughout life causing major quality of life and health problems. Clean intermittent catheterization (draining urine from the bladder with a tube) is usually needed to empty the bladder properly. Medications are routinely required to alleviate high urinary tract pressures that can cause irreversible kidney damage, where dialysis or kidney transplant is the only way to sustain life.
Dr. Xiao, a Chinese urologist, developed a novel procedure to connect a functioning, healthy lumbar spinal nerve to the sacral nerve that controls the bladder. Hundreds of these procedures have been done in China with good results. The end result is the creation of a new reflex where the bladder can be emptied by scratching or stimulating the skin (over the hip or thigh) supplied by that spinal nerve root. He has reported that in 92 SCI patients, 88% regained bladder control within one year after the nerve rerouting surgery and in 110 children with spina bifida, reported success was 87% at one year. However, in China rigorous follow up is challenging, therefore much is still unknown about how the nerves regenerate post surgery, complications and results occurring in the first year in particular, and the potential role that central nervous system remodeling may play in achieving successful outcomes. Beaumont urologists, in collaboration with Dr. Xiao, were the first in the US to perform this surgery on children with spina bifida. Our preliminary data are very promising, and in 9 subjects at 12 months post procedure, 7/9 subjects could void either voluntarily or by stimulating the new reflex mechanism.
This current project aims to expand upon our pilot experience to conduct a larger and more rigorous study to establish the safety and effectiveness of the proposed somatic-autonomic reflex pathway procedure in gaining bladder and bowel control in patients with spina bifida. We will also collaborate with and train investigators at another site(s) to determine the training needed to achieve similar safety and effectiveness outcomes, and evaluate possible methods to stimulate the new reflex to improve bladder emptying. Achieving the aims outlined in this multicenter proposal will help firmly establish the procedure as safe and effective, and revolutionize the treatment of bladder and bowel dysfunction in patients with spina bifida in the US.
Endpoint Classification: Safety/Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment, Masking: Open Label, Primary Purpose: Treatment
Emory University Hospital/Egleston Children's Hosp at Emory U, Inc. d/b/a Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston
Not yet recruiting
William Beaumont Hospitals
Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-08-27T03:14:52-0400
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Congenital defects of closure of one or more vertebral arches, which may be associated with malformations of the spinal cord, nerve roots, congenital fibrous bands, lipomas, and congenital cysts. These malformations range from mild (e.g., SPINA BIFIDA OCCULTA) to severe, including rachischisis where there is complete failure of neural tube and spinal cord fusion, resulting in exposure of the spinal cord at the surface. Spinal dysraphism includes all forms of spina bifida. The open form is called SPINA BIFIDA CYSTICA and the closed form is SPINA BIFIDA OCCULTA. (From Joynt, Clinical Neurology, 1992, Ch55, p34)
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