Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation Combined with Oxybutynin is Superior to Monotherapy in Children with Urge Incontinence: A Randomized, Placebo Controlled Study

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Abstract

Purpose:

We evaluated whether combination therapy with transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation and oxybutynin results in a superior treatment response compared to either therapy alone in children with urge incontinence.

Materials and Methods:

In this placebo controlled study 66 children with a mean ± SD age of 7.3 ± 1.6 years who were diagnosed with urge incontinence were randomized to 3 treatment groups. Group 1 consisted of 22 children undergoing transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation plus active oxybutynin administration. Group 2 included 21 children undergoing active transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation plus placebo oxybutynin administration. Group 3 consisted of 23 children undergoing active oxybutynin administration plus placebo transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation. The children received active or placebo transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation over the sacral S2 to S3 outflow for 2 hours daily in combination with 5 mg active or placebo oxybutynin twice daily. The intervention period was 10 weeks. Primary outcome was number of wet days weekly. Secondary outcomes were severity of incontinence, frequency, maximum voided volume over expected bladder capacity for age, average voided volume over expected bladder capacity for age and visual analogue scale score.

Results:

Combination therapy was superior to oxybutynin monotherapy, with an 83% greater chance of treatment response (p = 0.05). Combination therapy was also significantly more effective than transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation monotherapy regarding reduced number of wet days weekly (mean difference −2.28, CI −4.06 to −0.49), severity of incontinence (−3.11, CI −5.98 to −0.23) and daily voiding frequency (−2.82, CI −4.48 to −1.17).

Conclusions:

Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation in combination with oxybutynin for childhood urge incontinence was superior to monotherapy consisting of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation or oxybutynin, although the latter only reached borderline statistical significance. Furthermore, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation was associated with a decreased risk of oxybutynin induced post-void residual urine greater than 20 ml.

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