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J Urol. 1997 Dec;158(6):2127-31.

Pelvic floor electrical stimulation in the treatment of stress incontinence: an investigational study and a placebo controlled double-blind trial.

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Department of Urology, Chiba University School of Medicine, Japan.



We designed an investigational study and a placebo controlled, double-blind study to evaluate the usefulness of electrical pelvic stimulation in stress incontinence.


We studied 44 patients with stress incontinence (six men and 38 women, age 63 +/- 13), including 9 patients in the investigational study and 35 in the double-blind study. We used 50 Hz. square waves of 1 ms. pulse duration for stimulation. A vaginal electrode was used in women and an anal electrode in men. Urethral pressure profile before, during and after 15-minute stimulation was measured in the investigational study. In the double-blind trial an active device and a dummy device were used, and efficacy was judged from patient impressions, records in frequency/volume chart, results of 1-hour pad test and urodynamic parameters after 4-week treatment.


In the investigational study maximum urethral closure pressure (mean plus or minus standard deviation) before, during and after stimulation was 44.4 +/- 17.5, 64.5 +/- 28.8 and 46.8 +/- 25.6 cm. water, respectively. This parameter significantly increased (p = 0.0275) during stimulation. In the double-blind trial patient impressions were good in 60% of the active device group and 8% of the dummy device group (p = 0.0051). For the pad test significant improvement was noted in the active device group (p = 0.0100). Cure rate was 45% in the active device group and 7.7% in the dummy device group. There were significantly more cured or improved patients for frequency of leakage (p = 0.0196) and pad test (p = 0.0100).


Electrical stimulation is effective for the treatment of stress incontinence.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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