Management and treatment of nocturnal enuresis-an updated standardization document from the International Children's Continence Society

J Pediatr Urol. 2020 Feb;16(1):10-19. doi: 10.1016/j.jpurol.2019.12.020. Epub 2020 Jan 30.


Background: Enuresis is an extremely common condition, which, although somatically benign, poses long-term psychosocial risks if untreated. There are still many misconceptions regarding the proper management of these children.

Aim: A cross-professional team of experts affiliated with the International Children's Continence Society (ICCS) undertook to update the previous guidelines for the evaluation and treatment of children with enuresis.

Methods: The document used the globally accepted ICCS terminology. Evidence-based literature served as the basis, but in areas lacking in primary evidence, expert consensus was used. Before submission, a full draft was made available to all ICCS members for additional comments.

Results: The enuretic child does, in the absence of certain warning signs (i.e., voiding difficulties, excessive thirst), not need blood tests, radiology or urodynamic assessment. Active therapy is recommended from the age of 6 years. The most important comorbid conditions to take into account are psychiatric disorders, constipation, urinary tract infections and snoring or sleep apneas. Constipation and daytime incontinence, if present, should be treated. In nonmonosymptomatic enuresis, it is recommended that basic advice regarding voiding and drinking habits be provided. In monosymptomatic enuresis, or if the above strategy did not make the child dry, the first-line treatment modalities are desmopressin or the enuresis alarm. If both these therapies fail alone or in combination, anticholinergic treatment is a possible next step. If the child is unresponsive to initial therapy, antidepressant treatment may be considered by the expert. Children with concomitant sleep disordered breathing may become dry if the airway obstruction is removed.

Keywords: Anticholinergics; Antidepressants; Comorbidity; Desmopressin; Enuresis; Enuresis alarm.

Publication types

  • Practice Guideline
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Humans
  • Nocturnal Enuresis / diagnosis*
  • Nocturnal Enuresis / therapy*