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Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 2015 Aug;191:51-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ejogrb.2015.05.014. Epub 2015 Jun 3.

Percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation versus tolterodine for overactive bladder in women: a randomised controlled trial.

Author information

Zell am See Hospital, Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Paracelsusstrasse 8, A-5700 Zell am See, Austria. Electronic address:
Medical University of Vienna, Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Division of General Gynaecology and Gynaecologic Oncology, Waehringer Guertel 18-20, A-1090 Vienna, Austria.
Medical University of Graz, Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Division of Gynaecology, Auenbrugger Platz 14, A-8036 Graz, Austria.
University Hospital Freiburg, Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Division of Gynaecology, Hugstetter Strasse 44, D-79106 Freiburg, Germany.
Medical University of Vienna, Centre for Medical Statistics, Informatics, and Intelligent Systems, Section for Clinical Biometrics, Spitalgasse 23, A-1090 Vienna, Austria.



We performed a randomised controlled trial of percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation (PTNS) versus tolterodine for treating treatment naïve women with overactive bladder (OAB).


36 patients with symptoms of OAB were randomised to 3 months of treatment with weekly PTNS or tolterodine (2mg bid p.o.). The primary outcome measure was the difference of micturitions per 24h. The secondary outcome measure was the impact on quality of life (QoL) measured with a visual analogue scale (VAS) between baseline and after 3 months of therapy.


Micturition frequencies did not decline significantly (p=0.13) over time and there were no significant treatment differences (p=0.96). QoL was significantly dependent from its level at baseline (p=0.002) and showed improvement over time compared to baseline measurements but no significant differences between both treatment groups (p=0.07). Incontinence episodes per 24h depended significantly on the level at baseline (p=0.0001) and declined significantly (p=0.03) during 3 months of therapy in both therapy groups. However no significant treatment differences on the reduction of incontinence episodes in 24h could be shown between both therapy groups (p=0.89). PTNS had fewer side effects than tolterodine (p=0.04).


PTNS and tolterodine were both effective in reducing incontinence episodes and improving QoL in patients with OAB but not micturition frequencies. PTNS had fewer side effects.


Overactive bladder; Percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation (PTNS); Side effects; Tolterodine

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