In a nutshell
This study compared two types of nerve stimulation in the treatment of overactive bladder (OAB). It concluded that both types are effective for improving OAB symptoms and quality of life.
Overactive Bladder (OAB) is a sudden, frequent urge to urinate. It may result in urge incontinence (inability to hold on to urine). OAB urination is usually eight or more times a day and two or more times at night. OAB can have a negative impact on quality of life. Medications can be taken to calm the muscles and nerves which cause OAB. These medications however, can carry side effects.
Another treatment option for OAB is nerve stimulation. This works by using electricity to stimulate nerves. These nerves affect the muscles of the bladder. Percutaneous nerve stimulation (PNS) involves implanting a stimulating device into the body, on bone. Transcutaneous nerve stimulation (TNS) involves implanting a stimulating device into the body and using one outside the body also.
Methods & findings
68 men and women were included in the study. These patients had OAB and didn't respond to the usual OAB treatments. Patients were divided into two groups. One group had PNS and the other group had TNS. Stimulation was given for 30 minutes, one day a week, for 12 weeks. Patients were assessed before the study and at week 12. OAB was assessed by a urination diary and a quality of life questionnaire. The effectiveness of PNS and TNS was assessed by comparing the number of urinations per day between the two groups.
The number of urinations per day decreased by 15%. The number of urinations per day was not significantly different between the PNS and TNS groups. Episodes of urgent urination decreased by more than 50% in both groups. Quality of life was also seen to improve. No serious side effects were reported. Approximately 90% of the patients stayed on the treatment throughout the study.
The bottom line
This study concluded that TNS is just as effective an OAB treatment as PNS.
The fine print
The authors note that this study did not consider the cost difference between PNS and TNS. This may affect a patient's decision about OAB treatment.
If you are interested in learning more about nerve stimulation to treat OAB, contact your doctor.
Published By :
Neurourology and urodynamics
Oct 12, 2018
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