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SYMPATHETIC INNERVATION OF THE EXTERNAL SPHINCTER OF THE HUMAN BLADDER

PAUL C. BUCY, M.D.; CHARLES HUGGINS, M.D.; DOUGLAS N. BUCHANAN, M.D.
Am J Dis Child. 1937;54(5):1012-1018. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1937.01980050042005.
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It has been generally accepted that the external sphincter of the human bladder is composed solely of striated muscle innervated exclusively by the somatic nervous system (the pudic nerve arising from the third and fourth sacral roots).1

Doubt is thrown on this belief by the experimental findings in the following case, in which there was opportunity to observe the physiologic effects of stimulation of the peripheral and central ends of the sectioned pelvic sympathetic nerves (the presacral nerve). In this patient, it was observed that stimulation of the peripheral end of the cut presacral nerve caused muscular contraction at the junction of the prostatic and the membranous portion of the urethra, and the conclusion seems justified that in some cases there is an external sphincter of the human bladder innervated by the sympathetic system. Although it may be true that the innervation of the bladder in this case was

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