Analysis of Pressure Wave Reflection in the Male Urethra for the Purpose of Diagnosing Obstructions

[+] Author and Article Information
S. J. Lai-Fook, F. B. Gessner

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Washington, Seattle, Wash.

J. Fluids Eng 96(4), 323-332 (Dec 01, 1974) (10 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3447165 History: Received August 16, 1974; Online October 12, 2010


This paper investigates the feasibility of diagnosing intraurethral obstructions in males by means of a pressure pulse technique. Initial discussion centers on some of the anatomical and physiological characteristics of the male lower urinary tract for both normal and abnormal (obstructed) conditions. Present methods of diagnosis are reviewed and the limitations of these techniques are discussed. An alternate method of diagnosis is then described which is based on examination of wave reflection behavior in the urethra during micturition after a pressure pulse is generated by means of quick-acting valve downstream of the meatus. Numerical results based on a proposed analytical model show that reflected waves from upstream obstructions can be detected, even for partial valve closure, and that induced peak pressures can be maintained within acceptable physiological limits. These results imply that the technique should be useful as a means of diagnosing obstructions in the male lower urinary tract.

Copyright © 1974 by ASME
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