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J Urol. 2003 Apr;169(4):1369-73.

Sacral neuromodulation for the symptomatic treatment of refractory interstitial cystitis: a prospective study.

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Department of Surgery, Section of Urology, University of Arizona Health Sciences Center, Tucson, USA.



The efficacy of sacral neuromodulation for the treatment of symptoms in patients with refractory interstitial cystitis was evaluated.


A total of 25 patients with a mean age of 47 years and refractory interstitial cystitis were prospectively evaluated with a trial of sacral nerve stimulation. Patients who demonstrated 50% improvement in frequency, nocturia, voided volume and average pain qualified for permanent sacral nerve stimulator implantation. Treatment success was measured by voiding diary, report of average pain, and response to the Interstitial Cystitis Symptom Index and Interstitial Cystitis Problem Index.


Of the 25 patients 17 qualified for permanent sacral nerve stimulator implantation. At an average of 14 months followup mean daytime frequency and nocturia improved from 17.1 to 8.7 and 4.5 to 1.1, respectively (p <0.01). Mean voided volume increased from 111 to 264 ml. (p <0.01). Report of average pain decreased from 5.8 to 1.6 points on a scale of 0 to 10 (p <0.01). Interstitial Cystitis Symptom and Problem Index scores decreased from 16.5 to 6.8 and 14.5 to 5.4, respectively (p <0.01). Of the 17 patients 16 (94%) with a permanent stimulator demonstrated sustained improvement in all parameters at the last postoperative visit.


Results of this prospective clinical study demonstrate that sacral neuromodulation is a safe and effective treatment for the dysfunctional voiding and pelvic pain in patients with interstitial cystitis who are refractory to other forms of treatment.

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