Optimal Lead Positioning in Sacral Neuromodulation: Which Factors Are Related to Treatment Outcome?

Ranjana Jairam*, Tom Marcelissen, Gommert van Koeveringe, Philip van Kerrebroeck

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

13 Citations (Web of Science)


ObjectivesSacral neuromodulation (SNM) is a well-established treatment for overactive bladder (OAB) and non-obstructive urinary retention (NOR). During test stimulation, the lead is positioned along the third sacral nerve, which ideally results in a response in all four contact points (active electrodes). However, it is unclear whether the position of the lead (depth, angle, deflection) and the number of active electrodes is related to the outcome of SNM.

MethodsAll patients who underwent test stimulation using the tined lead between January 2011 and September 2016 were included in this retrospective study. Success was defined as >50% improvement in voiding diary parameters compared to baseline. The correlation between lead position and outcome of test stimulation was evaluated. The lead position was determined by evaluating the depth, angle and deflection with respect to the sacral foramen. Binary logistic regression was used in order to determine the predictive value of these factors.

ResultsWe included 189 patients of whom 105 were diagnosed with OAB and 84 with NOR. After a SNM test period of 4 weeks, 111 patients (59%) were successful and received a permanent implant. The position of the lead and the number of active electrodes did not predict success of test stimulation in neither the OAB group nor the NOR. However, lateral deflection of the lead was associated with finding more active electrodes (p=0.01).

ConclusionIn our study, the position of the lead or the number of active electrodes did not predict the outcome of SNM test stimulation. However, the impact of lead positioning and number of active electrodes on long-term outcome remains to be proven.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)830-835
Number of pages6
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017


  • Lead position
  • non-obstructive urinary retention
  • overactive bladder
  • sacral neuromodulation

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