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Neurourol Urodyn. 2004;23(1):63-7.

A review of non-invasive electro neuromodulation as an intervention for non-neurogenic bladder dysfunction in children.

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Division of Paediatric Surgery, Department of Surgery, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China.



The use of electrotherapeutics to improve filling and emptying dysfunction of the adult bladder has been well established, however the practice in children is less well known. The purpose of this review is to summarize the rationale behind the use of electro neuromodulation in children, examine the reported efficacy of the intervention for different presentations of dysfunction, and establish the current limitations to knowledge and practice.


A modified systematic review was carried out on all Medline studies identified as considering the use of electrotherapy or neuromodulation in children with bladder problems. Literature relating to use of this approach in adults was also searched in order to present current understanding of the treatment rationale and modes of application.


A Medline search and handsearch of relevant conference proceedings revealed six studies of neuromodulation in children with non-neurogenic bladder dysfunction. There were no reports of the intervention in children with isolated pelvic floor dyssynergia, irritative symptoms, structural changes predisposing the pelvic floor to weakness, or monosymptomatic nocturnal enuresis. One report of the favorable effect of neuromodulation on gut dysmotility was identified. Study design and quality generated level 4 evidence. Positive post-intervention changes reported included: increased bladder capacity, decreased severity of urge, improved continence, and decrease frequency of urinary tract infection. Significant improvement in the urodynamic parameters of bladder compliance, number of uninhibited contractions, and bladder volume at first detrusor contraction were also reported.


There are clear benefits from the use of electroneuromodulation in children with differing forms of voiding dysfunction. The treatment approach is independent of cognitive and pharmacological therapy, is minimally invasive, and free of side effects. To date, there are no clinical variables that reliably predict efficacy of electrotherapy in the various presentations of over and under active detrusor, sphincter dyssynergia, or irritative symptoms.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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