Effects of percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation on adult patients with overactive bladder syndrome: A systematic review

Heidi F. A. Moossdorff-Steinhauser*, Bary Berghmans

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Aims To assess the effectiveness of percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation (PTNS) on adult patients with overactive bladder syndrome, using a systematic review of randomized controlled trials (RCTs), clinical controlled trials (CCTs), and prospective observational cohort studies. Methods A computer-aided literature search was performed in: PubMed, EMBASE and CENTRAL (2000 to November 15, 2011) to identify RCTs, CCTs, and prospective observational cohort studies. The study had to investigate the effect of PTNS on overactive bladder syndrome. The methodological quality of each study was assessed and a qualitative analysis was performed to establish the levels of evidence. Results Four RCTs and six prospective observational cohort studies were identified. There is strong evidence for the efficacy of PTNS versus a sham treatment. There is limited evidence that the use of PTNS and tolterodine ER is equally effective. No additional effect of a combination of Stoller afferent nerve stimulation (SANS) and anticholinergic medication compared to SANS alone. Most cohort studies suggested decreased frequency and improvement of incontinence and nocturia. However, the level of evidence was insufficient to make any firm conclusions. Because the total duration of all included trials varied between 6 and 12 weeks, so far there is little information on treatment periods. Conclusions PTNS is efficacious for frequency and urgency urinary incontinence. More high quality studies are needed to improve the level of evidence concerning the efficacy of PTNS with regard to urgency and nocturia, to specify patient selection criteria, optimal treatment modalities and long-term effects as well as the effectiveness in more pragmatic trials. Neurourol. Urodynam. 32: 206214, 2013.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)206-214
JournalNeurourology and Urodynamics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2013


  • electric stimulation
  • neuromodulation
  • overactive
  • review
  • tibial nerve
  • urgency
  • urinary incontinence

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