It is not unusual to observe patients with unmistakable evidence of a disturbed nervous mechanism of the urinary bladder, but no clinically demonstrable lesion in the central nervous system. Of seventy-three patients with cord bladders who registered at the Mayo Clinic during 1921 and 1922, seventeen (23.29 per cent.) were neurologically normal according to the usual tests, symptoms referable to the bladder being the only evidence of disease of the central nervous system. The question arises: Are such symptoms due to a local disturbance in the nerve supply? If so, theoretically the condition of the sensory as well as of the motor fibers of the nerves in question should be investigated.
A review of the literature disclosed comparatively little on the study of bladder sensibility. This investigation was begun in order to determine (1) the response of the normal bladder to touch, temperature and pain; (2) if possible, the sensory