Electrical propagation in the renal pelvis, ureter and bladder

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Under normal conditions, following the passage of urine from the collecting duct, the urine is stored briefly in the renal pelvis before being transported through the ureter to the bladder where the urine is stored for a longer time (hours) before being voided through the urethra. The transport of urine from the renal pelvis to the bladder occurs spontaneously due to contractions of the muscles in the wall of the pelvis and ureter. Spontaneous contractions also occur in the detrusor muscle and are responsible for maintaining the bladder shape during the filling phase. These muscle contractions occur as result of electrical impulses, which are generated and propagated through different parts of the urinary tract. The renal pelvis and the ureter differ from the bladder in relation to the origin, characteristics and propagation of these electrical impulses. In the ureter, the electrical impulses originate mainly at the proximal region of the renal pelvis and are transmitted antegradely down the length of the ureter. The electrical impulses in the bladder, on the other hand, originate at any location in the bladder wall and can be transmitted in different directions with the axial direction being the prominent one. In this manuscript, an overview of the current state of research on the origin and propagation characteristics of these electrical impulses in the normal and pathological conditions is provided.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)371-383
Number of pages13
JournalActa Physiologica
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2015


  • Bladder
  • Electrical impulses
  • Propagation
  • Renal pelvis
  • Ureter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology


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