The role of neuromodulation in patients with neurogenic overactive bladder - Abstract

To review the treatment options for patients with neurogenic overactive bladder (OAB), specifically the use of sacral neuromodulation (SNM).

A search was performed on the available literature on SNM and lower urinary tract dysfunction. Based on published studies available and also on personal experience, the treatment options for neurogenic OAB are reviewed, and specifically, the role for SNM in these patients is discussed. SNM is FDA-approved for patients with urge incontinence, urgency/frequency, and non-obstructive urinary retention. It involves stimulation of the third sacral nerve with an electrode implanted in the sacral foramen and connected to a pulse generator. The procedure is minimally invasive and is effective in about 70 % of patients who have a permanent system. The original trials leading to the approval of SNM excluded patients with neurogenic disease, as it was felt that intact spinal pathways were necessary for neuromodulation to occur. However, similar success rates have been observed in patients with neurogenic OAB. Special considerations for SNM use in patients with neurogenic OAB include recognizing that it is incompatible for patients who will need MRI's due to their progressive neurologic disease. Many treatment options are available for patients with neurogenic OAB. First-line approaches remain conservative with lifestyle changes and anticholinergic medications. SNM has been used successfully in this patient population with good results, though larger randomized trials are lacking.

Written by:
Lay AH, Das AK.   Are you the author?
Division of Urology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.

Reference: Curr Urol Rep. 2012 Aug 3. Epub ahead of print.
doi: 10.1007/s11934-012-0272-y

PubMed Abstract
PMID: 22865208 Overactive Bladder (OAB) Section