The FDA just granted approval for marketing the TETRA™-NIRS, a non-invasive urodynamics device from Urodynamix, of Vancouver, Canada. The device uses near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) to penetrate with light through the skin and into the bladder, and determine how full it is in real time. According to the press release, the device is designed to help to analyze bladder outlet obstruction as well as bladder activity not readily available on simple uroflowmetry. Here are the basic details from the company on its technology:
NIRS emitter projects near infrared light through the skin, illuminating the detrusor muscle of the bladder. Some of the light is absorbed by chromophores in the tissue (e.g. oxygenated and deoxygenated hemoglobin and cytochromes) and some is scattered, with a small amount returning to a light detector. Bladder function is evaluated by continuously monitoring the concentrations of chromophores in the detrusor muscle during voiding.