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Gender Specific Chronological and Morphometric Assessment of Fetal Bladder Wall Development

Authors
Journal
The Journal of Urology
0022-5347
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
176
Issue
6
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.juro.2006.08.026
Keywords
  • Bladder
  • Embryonic And Fetal Development
  • Muscle
  • Smooth

Abstract

Purpose To enhance our understanding of sonographically visible alterations in bladder wall thickness, we delineated phenotypic changes occurring in developing smooth muscle cells of the fetal and postnatal bladder with respect to gender specific differences. Materials and Methods Bladders of 30 male and 18 female fetuses and 4 stillborn infants were immunostained with an α-smooth muscle actin antibody. Morphological and morphometric assessment was performed with the assistance of an image analysis system. Results α-Smooth muscle actin expression in fetal bladder wall was detectable at 9 weeks of gestation. Bladder wall thickness and mean profile area of smooth muscle bundles increased significantly with advancing gestation, mediated by linear growth patterns. Fetal bladder wall development occurred uniformly, unrelated to gender. Conclusions Although the lower urinary tract emerges in a gender specific way, our results suggest that in normal fetal growth detrusor muscle formation proceeds independent of genital sex.

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