Stimulation Parameters for Sacral Neuromodulation on Lower Urinary Tract and Bowel Dysfunction-Related Clinical Outcome: A Systematic Review.

Sacral neuromodulation (SNM) has been used to treat patients with lower urinary tract dysfunction and bowel dysfunction for many years. Success rates vary between 50% and 80%, indicating that there is much room for improvement. Altering stimulation parameters may result in improved outcome. This paper reports a systematic review of the clinical efficacy of nonconventional stimulation parameters on urinary tract and bowel dysfunction.

Three databases were used for the literature search: Ovid (Medline, Embase) and PubMed. Papers were screened by two independent reviewers, who also extracted data from these papers. Clinical papers studying SNM stimulation parameters, that is, intermittent stimulation, frequency, pulse width, and amplitude, in urinary tract and bowel dysfunction were included. Quality of included papers was assessed using standardized guidelines.

Out of 5659 screened papers, 17 papers, studying various stimulation parameters, were included. Overall quality of these papers differed greatly, as some showed no risk of bias, whereas others showed high risk of bias. Stimulation parameters included intermittent stimulation, frequency, pulse width, amplitude, and unilateral vs. bilateral stimulation. Especially high frequency SNM and either a narrow or wide pulse width seem to improve efficacy in patients with bowel dysfunction. Additionally, implementation of short cycling intervals is promising to improve quality of life for patients with urinary tract or bowel dysfunction.

The results of our systematic review indicate that stimulation parameters may improve efficacy of SNM in treatment of both urinary tract dysfunction and bowel dysfunction.

Neuromodulation : journal of the International Neuromodulation Society. 2020 Aug 24 [Epub ahead of print]

Roman Assmann, Perla Douven, Jos Kleijnen, Gommert A van Koeveringe, Elbert A Joosten, Jarno Melenhorst, Stephanie O Breukink

Department of Surgery, Maastricht University Medical Center, Maastricht, The Netherlands., Kleijnen Systematic Reviews Ltd, York, UK., Department of Translational Neuroscience, School for Mental Health and Neuroscience (MHeNS), University of Maastricht, Maastricht, The Netherlands.