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Neurourol Urodyn. 2007;26(4):525-530. doi: 10.1002/nau.20363.

Electrical stimulation of sacral dermatomes in multiple sclerosis patients with neurogenic detrusor overactivity.

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Center for Sensory-Motor Interaction (SMI), Department of Health Science and Technology, Aalborg University, Denmark.
Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
Department of Urology, Aalborg Hospital, Denmark.
The Centre for Multiple Sclerosis in Ry, Denmark.



Transcutaneous electrical stimulation of the dorsal penile/clitoral nerve (DPN) has been shown to suppress detrusor contractions in patients with neurogenic detrusor overactivity (NDO). However, the long-term use of surface electrodes in the genital region may not be well tolerated and may introduce hygienic challenges. The aim of this study was to assess whether electrical stimulation of the sacral dermatomes could suppress detrusor contractions in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients with NDO, hereby providing an alternative to DPN stimulation.


A total of 14 MS patients (8 M, 6 F) with low bladder capacity (<300 ml) and a recent urodynamic study showing detrusor overactivity incontinence participated in the study. Three successive slow fill cystometries (16 ml/min) were carried out in each patient. The first filling served as control filling where no stimulation was applied. In the second and third filling electrical stimulation of either the DPN or sacral dermatomes was applied automatically whenever the detrusor pressure exceeded 10 cmH2O.


The control filling showed detrusor overactivity in 12 of the 14 patients. In 10 of the 12 patients one or more detrusor contractions could be suppressed with DPN stimulation. Electrical stimulation of the sacral dermatomes failed to suppress detrusor contractions in all patients.


Although therapeutic effects may be present from stimulation of the sacral dermatomes, we were unable to demonstrate any acute effects during urodynamics. For this reason stimulation of the sacral dermatomes is not an option in a system that relies on the acute suppression of a detrusor contraction.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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