Objective: The aim of the study was to investigate the therapeutic effect of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation on neurogenic overactive bladder that is refractory to pharmacotherapy.
Methods: This randomized trial recruited 83 participants with neurogenic overactive bladder that were nonresponsive to 3-mo first-line anticholinergic drug treatment. Participants were randomized into treatment and control groups. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation current consisting of biphasic square wave with pulse durations of 150 μs and pulse frequency set at 20 Hz were applied to for 30 mins once a day for 90 days. Stimulation was provided over the lateral aspect of the sacrum bilaterally of the electrodes. Patients in the transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation group stopped taking the anticholinergic drugs. The control group continued to receive anticholinergic drugs for 90 days. The participants' Overactive Bladder Symptom Score, the Medical Outcomes Study 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey scores, urodynamic values, and voiding diary data were assessed before and after the therapy.
Results: The transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation treatment group had significantly decreased Overactive Bladder Symptom scores compared with the control group (P < 0.001); in addition, half of the Medical Outcomes Study 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey scores were significantly improved in the transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation group (P < 0.05). The patients treated with transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation improved significantly voiding diary parameters at P < 0.05. Similarly, urodynamic values at P < 0.05 favored the experimental group over the control group.
Conclusions: Applying daily transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation over the sacral region for 90 days to patient with neurogenic overactive bladder improved overactive bladder symptoms of patients whose response to anticholinergic drugs is far inferior.
To claim cme credits: Complete the self-assessment activity and evaluation online at http://www.physiatry.org/JournalCME.
Cme objectives: Upon completion of this article, the reader should be able to: (1) Determine the therapeutic effect of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) on neurogenic overactive bladder (NOAB); (2) Demonstrate the effectiveness of reflex suppression of the bladder using the TENS applied over the sacral region as a stimulation location; and (3) Confirm the TENS method using biphasic square waves with pulse durations of 150 μs and pulse frequencies of 20 Hz as applied is shown to be superior to anticholinergic drugs in managing NOAB.
Accreditation: The Association of Academic Physiatrists is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.The Association of Academic Physiatrists designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.
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