Objectives: To present a comprehensive experience with botulinum-A toxin (BTA) injected into the detrusor muscle in patients with spinal cord injuries/diseases causing neurogenic incontinence.
Methods: Ten European medical centers provided the results of 231 patients with neurogenic detrusor overactivity who were treated with BTA. 300 units of Botox (Allergan Inc.) were injected cystoscopically into the detrusor muscle at 30 different locations, while sparing the trigonum. Urinary continence status, concomitant anticholinergic medication use and patient satisfaction were recorded. Key urodynamic parameters (reflex volume, maximum detrusor pressure during voiding, detrusor compliance and maximum cystometric bladder capacity) at baseline and at the first and second urodynamic follow-up examinations were analyzed.
Results: By the time of the initial (mean 12 weeks after injection) as well as at the second urodynamic follow-up examinations (mean 36 weeks after injection), the mean cystometric bladder capacity (p < 0.0001) and the mean reflex volume (p < 0.01) increased significantly, while the mean voiding pressure (p < 0.0001) decreased significantly. The mean bladder compliance had increased significantly (p < 0.0001) by the first follow-up examination and non-significantly by the time of the second follow-up. No injection related complications or toxin related side effects were reported. The patients considerably reduced or even stopped taking anticholinergic drugs without recurrence of reflex incontinence and were satisfied with the treatment.
Conclusions: This retrospective European multicenter study presents the most extensive experience to date with BTA injections into the detrusor muscle to treat neurogenic incontinence due to detrusor overactivity and confirms that this new treatment is safe and valuable. Significant improvement of bladder function corresponds with continence and the subjective satisfaction indicated by the treated patients.