Purpose: Several studies provide evidence regarding the effect of desmopressin (DDAVP) on the sleep of adults. Therefore, we investigate whether this effect has a role in children with primary nocturnal enuresis treated intranasally with DDAVP.
Materials and methods: A prospective, randomized, placebo controlled, double-blind, crossover study was performed. Patients were assigned to 2 groups by lottery. Arousability was determined by a special bell apparatus with an adjustable sound pressure level. The wet nights per week and the results of the arousal tests were compared using the signed rank test.
Results: A total of 20 children with primary nocturnal enuresis 6 to 15 years old were enrolled in the study, 2 of whom had to be excluded. There were no marked differences in age or weight between the groups. The number of wet nights per week decreased significantly with DDAVP treatment. Moreover 14 patients slept more soundly with DDAVP and only 4 were more difficult to awake after the medication. This difference was significant.
Conclusions: This study revealed an effect of DDAVP on arousability of enuretic children as well as its previously known action for the treatment of primary nocturnal enuresis. This result is consistent with the known action of DDAVP on sleep of elderly adults. It suggests that the cause of primary nocturnal enuresis lies in the structure of sleep of the affected patients.