Neuromodulative treatment of overactive bladder--noninvasive tibial nerve stimulation

Bratisl Lek Listy. 2002;103(12):480-3.


Background: Conservative treatment of overactive bladder employes behavioral or invasive neuromodulatory inhibition of miction reflex and administration of anticholinergic drugs.

Main purpose: The aim of this study was to use non-invasive stimulation of the tibial nerve with the intention to achieve desired therapeutic effects without iatrogenic nerve damage using a superficial electrostimulation.

Methods: All patients suffered from overactive bladder (OAB) without bladder outlet obstruction. OAB was examined by the Behavioral urge score BUS (0.0--the best and 1.0--the worst score), the International prostate symptom score IPSS (0--the best and 35--the worst score) and the Incontinence quality of life questionnaire IQOL (0.0--the worst and 1.0--the best index). The patients were divided into 3 groups: Group I--patients with electrode attached behind the medial ankle of the left lower extremity. The intensity of stimulation corresponded to 70% of the maximum amplitude of response from musculus abductor hallucis. Frequency of stimulation was 1 Hz and duration of the square impulse was 0.1 ms. Surface stimulation lasted 30 minutes and was repeated once a week. Group II--patients were treated by oral oxybutynin 5 mg t.i.d. Group III--patients without treatment. The BUS, IPSS, and IQOL were repeated after the treatment.

Results: The study included 28 females of average age 54 year (range 45 to 63). Mean IPSS was 17 (range 12 to 21), mean index of quality of life IQOL was 30 (range 12 to 78) and mean BUS score was 0.68 (range 0.50 to 0.86). Group I with stimulation did achieve statistically significant changes following the treatment: decrease of mean IPSS from 17 +/- 3 points to 6 +/- 4 points after the treatment, increase in mean IQOL from 36 +/- 10 to 68 +/- 20 and decrease of mean BUS from 0.65 +/- 0.12 to 0.43 +/- 0.16. Group II had similar statistically significant differences after the treatment of OAB. Group III noted no changes in the complaints.

Conclusion: Noninvasive stimulation had improved subjective symptom related to overactive bladder, had no adverse events and was well tolerated. (Fig. 1, Tab. 1, Ref. 18.).

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life
  • Tibial Nerve*
  • Transcutaneous Electric Nerve Stimulation*
  • Urination Disorders / therapy*