Percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation for the overactive bladder: A single-arm trial.

We hypothesise that PTNS is a safe and effective treatment for OAB. Overactive bladder (OAB) is estimated to affect 11.8% of women worldwide, causing diminished quality of life. Lifestyle modifications, muscarinic receptor antagonist and beta-adrenoreceptor agonist remain the mainstay of treatment but are limited by their efficacy and adverse effects. Access to third-line therapies of intravesical botulinum toxin type A or sacral neuromodulation is limited by their invasive nature. Percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation (PTNS) has emerged as a non-invasive treatment option for OAB.

This study was a single-arm trial of women requesting third-line treatment for OAB. The primary treatment outcome was patient-reported visual analogue score (VAS) improvement of at least 50%. Secondary outcome measures were Urinary Distress Inventory Short Form (UDI-6) score and two-day bladder diary. Patients also provided feedback on adverse effects encountered.

In the 84 women recruited, initial treatment protocol showed a success rate of 77.2% among those who completed treatment based on VAS, with a statistically significant improvement in mean UDI-6 score of 20.13 (P < 0.01, standard deviation: 12.52). Continued success following tapering protocol of 60.8% and a mean maintenance protocol of 14.2 months was achieved. No adverse effects were reported.

The results from this study are in concordance with previously published literature on the effectiveness and safety of PTNS as a treatment modality for OAB. Further randomised controlled trials to evaluate the optimal treatment protocol are warranted to establish a standardised regime.

The Australian & New Zealand journal of obstetrics & gynaecology. 2024 Apr 17 [Epub ahead of print]

Hnin Yee Kyaw, Hannah G Krause, Judith T W Goh

Gold Coast University Hospital, Southport, Queensland, Australia.