Radiofrequency as the New Opportunity in Treating Overactive Bladder and Urge Urinary Incontinence-A Single-Arm Pilot Study.

Background and Objectives: Until now, overactive bladder (OAB) with or without urge urinary incontinence (UUI) has been treated mainly in two ways: with behavioral methods and patient education, or using antimuscarinic drugs and/or beta-3 adrenergic receptor agonists. Unfortunately, these drugs may cause side effects in some women or are insufficiently effective, so patients abandon them. Therefore, in this pilot study, radiofrequency was evaluated as a new option in the treatment of OAB and UUI. Materials and Methods: Nineteen patients were enrolled in this pilot study using radiofrequency (RF), where the level of OAB and UUI was assessed using the validated ICIQ-OAB questionnaire. RF was applied four times for 20 min, once a week. Two weeks after treatment, the level of OAB and UUI was reassessed and processed statistically and the treatment effect evaluated. Results: Using the ICIQ-OAB, the severity of OAB and UUI was assessed: 0-3 mild symptoms; 4-7 moderate symptoms; 8-11 severe symptoms; 12-16 very severe symptoms. Before treatment, 10.5% of patients had mild symptoms, 21.1% moderate symptoms, 63.2% severe symptoms and 5.3% very severe symptoms. After treatment, 42.9% had mild symptoms, 50% moderate symptoms and 7% severe OAB and UUI symptoms. All four main symptoms-frequency, nocturia, urgency and incontinence-decreased statistically significantly, with the best results being found in urgency (p = 0.002). Conclusions: Based on this pilot study, RF seems a very promising method in the treatment of OAB and UUI. To extend our initial findings, it is necessary to perform a prospective, randomized and placebo-controlled study in order to obtain reliable results and to determine for how long one set of treatment maintains the results obtained immediately after the end of that treatment. In this way, we may determine how often the treatment needs to be repeated, if necessary, and when.

Medicina (Kaunas, Lithuania). 2024 Jan 24*** epublish ***

Damir Franić, Maja Franić Ivanišević, Ivan Verdenik

Ginekologija Dr. Franić d.o.o., 3250 Rogaška Slatina, Slovenia., Obstetric and Gynecology Unit, Health Centre Slovenske Konjice, 3210 Slovenske Konjice, Slovenia., Research Unit, University Gynecological Clinic Ljubljana, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia.