Efficacy and safety of electrical stimulation in the treatment of neurogenic bladder dysfunction in myelomeningocele-Systematic review of randomized clinical trials.

The purpose of this systematic review was to investigate and synthesize the effects (benefits and harms) of electrical stimulation (EE), alone or in association with other interventions, compared with sham and other interventions, for the treatment of neurogenic bladder dysfunction in myelomeningocele.

This systematic review was conducted following the methodological recommendations of the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions and registered at PROSPERO (CRD42020200425). A search was performed in the following electronic databases: MEDLINE, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, EMBASE, LILACS, and PEDro. Randomized clinical trials (RCTs) that assessed any EE in children diagnosed with myelomeningocele and neurogenic bladder and/or urinary incontinence were included and reported.

When comparing EE versus sham groups, some estimated effects showed a wide confidence interval, probably due to the small sample size of the included studies. This indicates an imprecision in these findings. Regarding the safety of this intervention and safety of the lower urinary tract, no adverse events resulting from EE were reported. All the included studies have evaluated the efficacy of EE compared with sham, but different EE parameters and electrode positions among studies make it impossible to perform a meta-analysis.

Based on very low certainty evidence, the findings of this systematic review suggested no difference between EE and sham to improve urinary incontinence in children with myelomeningocele. However, the small sample size and the imprecision arising from the wide confidence intervals must be considered. Future RCTs following a rigorous methodology, as recommended by the CONSORT statement, should be conducted to support the use of this intervention in clinical practice.

Neurourology and urodynamics. 2021 Sep 15 [Epub ahead of print]

Tamiris Silva, Anna C R T Horliana, Tainá C S Malavazzi, Elaine M Santos, Marcela L L Gonçalves, Kristianne P S Fernandes, Raquel A Mesquita-Ferrari, Ana Luiza C Martimbianco, Sandra K Bussadori

Postgraduate Program in Rehabilitation Sciences, Universidade Nove de Julho (UNINOVE), São Paulo, Brazil., Postgraduate Program in Biophotonics Applied to the Health Sciences, UNINOVE, São Paulo, Brazil., Pro-rectory for Academic Affairs, UNIMES, Santos, Brazil., Postgraduate Program in Health and Environment, Universidade Metropolitana de Santos (UNIMES), Santos, Brazil.

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