Comparison of genitoanal and bulbospongiosus reflexes and measurement of penile nerve conduction velocity in cats

James R. Cook Jr. From the School of Veterinary Medicine, Purdue University, W Lafayette, IN 47907 (Cook) and the College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602 (Oliver, Purinton).

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John E. Oliver Jr. From the School of Veterinary Medicine, Purdue University, W Lafayette, IN 47907 (Cook) and the College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602 (Oliver, Purinton).

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Paul T. Purinton From the School of Veterinary Medicine, Purdue University, W Lafayette, IN 47907 (Cook) and the College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602 (Oliver, Purinton).

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SUMMARY

The bulbospongiosus reflex, genitoanal reflex, and nerve conduction velocity of the dorsal nerve of the penis were evaluated in cats. Seven adult sexually intact or castrated male mixed-breed cats underwent surgical isolation of the bulbospongiosus (analagous to bulbocavernosus) branch, anal branch, and distal trunk of the pudendal nerve. The bulbospongiosus and genitoanal reflexes were recorded from the bulbospongiosus and anal branches, respectively, by electrical stimulation, in turn, of the distal pudendal trunk and the penis itself. Nerve conduction velocity of the dorsal nerve of the penis was calculated by measuring response latency differences in the anal branch after stimulation of 2 sites on the extruded penis.

The bulbospongiosus reflex had response latencies of 8.1 to 10.3 ms (distal trunk stimulation) and 11.0 to 13.0 ms (penile stimulation). The genitoanal reflex had latencies of 8.1 to 10.5 ms (distal trunk stimulation) and 11.2 to 13.2 ms (penile stimulation). Response amplitudes diminished at stimulus rates of 5 to 10 Hz; responses were abolished at rates of 12 to 15 Hz, suggesting that the reflexes are polysynaptic. There was no significant difference between latency values for the bulbospongiosus and genitoanal reflexes.

Mean ± sd nerve conduction velocity in the dorsal nerve of the penis was calculated to be 3.8 ± 0.34 m/s, which was considerably slower than that found in human beings. This may represent technical difficulties in performing the test in cats, but could also indicate a difference between cats and human beings in the predominant population of cutaneous sensory fiber types of the penis.

SUMMARY

The bulbospongiosus reflex, genitoanal reflex, and nerve conduction velocity of the dorsal nerve of the penis were evaluated in cats. Seven adult sexually intact or castrated male mixed-breed cats underwent surgical isolation of the bulbospongiosus (analagous to bulbocavernosus) branch, anal branch, and distal trunk of the pudendal nerve. The bulbospongiosus and genitoanal reflexes were recorded from the bulbospongiosus and anal branches, respectively, by electrical stimulation, in turn, of the distal pudendal trunk and the penis itself. Nerve conduction velocity of the dorsal nerve of the penis was calculated by measuring response latency differences in the anal branch after stimulation of 2 sites on the extruded penis.

The bulbospongiosus reflex had response latencies of 8.1 to 10.3 ms (distal trunk stimulation) and 11.0 to 13.0 ms (penile stimulation). The genitoanal reflex had latencies of 8.1 to 10.5 ms (distal trunk stimulation) and 11.2 to 13.2 ms (penile stimulation). Response amplitudes diminished at stimulus rates of 5 to 10 Hz; responses were abolished at rates of 12 to 15 Hz, suggesting that the reflexes are polysynaptic. There was no significant difference between latency values for the bulbospongiosus and genitoanal reflexes.

Mean ± sd nerve conduction velocity in the dorsal nerve of the penis was calculated to be 3.8 ± 0.34 m/s, which was considerably slower than that found in human beings. This may represent technical difficulties in performing the test in cats, but could also indicate a difference between cats and human beings in the predominant population of cutaneous sensory fiber types of the penis.

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