Transcutaneous tibial nerve electrical stimulation versus vaginal electrical stimulation in women with overactive bladder syndrome: Is there a role for short-term interventions?

To assess the efficacy of vaginal electrical stimulation (VS) versus transcutaneous tibial nerve electrical stimulation (TTNS) in women with overactive bladder syndrome (OAB).

Sixty-nine patients were randomized to receive 12 sessions of VS versus TTNS, or no treatment (control group-CG), over 6 weeks. OAB impact according to international consultation on incontinence questionnaire overactive bladder module (ICIQ-OAB), symptoms discomfort scores and voiding diaries were evaluated at baseline, 6 weeks and 1-month post-treatment.

Both TTNS (mean difference = -4.2; 95% confidence interval [CI] = -6.5 to -1.9) and VS (-3.8; -6.0 to -1.6) were associated with significant reduction of ICIQ-OAB scores, as well as discomfort sensation (-3.9; -6.2 to -1,7; p < 0.001 for the TTNS and -2.8; -5.0 to -0.6; p = 0.01 for the VS) at 6 weeks when compared to CG (p < 0.001). ICIQ-OAB score remained low only in the TTNS group when compared to the CG (-3.6; -6.0 to -1.2/p = 0.00) 1 month after treatment. Discomfort symptoms improved in both active groups when compared to CG (TTNS [-3.2; -5.2 to -1.2; p < 0.001] and VS groups [-2.6; -4.7 to -0.6; p = 0.01]). No statistically differences were found in primary outcomes comparing TTNS and VS Secondary analysis showed significant improvement in urinary urgency incontinence episodes (UUI) in both TTNS and VS, but CG. UUI episodes were still reduced in the VS group and urgency in the TTNS group 1-month post-treatment.

Short-term interventions (6 weeks) of TTNS and VS were both effective in treating women with OAB. TTNS provided residual effects at one-month postintervention on ICIQ-OAB score.

Neurourology and urodynamics. 2023 Apr 12 [Epub ahead of print]

Janaina Mayer de Oliveira Nunes, Emerson Pereira Gregório, Eliane Cristina Hilberath Moreira, Fuad Ahmad Hazime, Marcio Augusto Averbeck, Silvio Henrique Maia de Almeida

Department of Physiotherapy, Center for Health Sciences, State University of Londrina, Londrina, Brazil., School of Medicine, Pontifical Catholic University of Paraná, Paraná, Brazil., Department of Physical Therapy, Federal University of Piaui, Piaui, Brazil., Urology Department, Moinhos de Vento Hospital, Porto Alegre, Brazil., Department of Surgery, Center for Health Sciences, State University of Londrina, Londrina, Brazil.