Ice-water test in the urodynamic evaluation of spinal cord injured patients

M. B. Chancellor, J. Lavelle, H. Ozawa, S. Y. Jung, T. Watanabe, H. Kumon

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9 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this study was to determine the clinical utility of the ice-water test (IWT) during urodynamic evaluation in spinal cord injured (SCI) patients. Thirty-two suprasacral SCI patients with documented detrusor hyperreflexia (DH) underwent urodynamic study and IWT. Fifteen patients had repeated testing 2 weeks later. The IWT was performed with the patient in the supine position; 100 mL of sterile saline water at 4-8°C was injected manually. If cystometric capacity was <200 mL, a volume of about 50% of the individual cystometric bladder capacity was used. The cold fluid was left within the bladder for 3 minutes. The test was considered positive if an involuntary bladder contraction ≤15 cm H2O was registered. All patients with cervical or thoracic level SCI had DH, which had 100% test-retest reproducibility on urodynamics. Seventy-two percent of patients with DH had a positive IWT and 28% had a negative IWT. IWT (same volume, 2 weeks later) in 4 (27%) of the 15 repeated tests gave different responses. Autonomic hyperreflexia, manifested as systolic blood pressure increase ≤50 mm Hg within 3 minutes of ice-water instillation, occurred in 16 (57%) of 28 patients with lesions above T7. In SCI patients, the IWT did not contribute to their management because of the insensitivity and nonspecificity. Autonomic hyperreflexia can occur during evaluation. The IWT did not influence clinical management in this group of SCI patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-91
Number of pages5
JournalTechniques in Urology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 4 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Bladder
  • Incontinence
  • Neurogenic damage
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Urodynamics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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