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SYMPOSIUM
Year : 2007  |  Volume : 23  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 166-173

Refractory overactive bladder: Beyond oral anticholinergic therapy


Center for Continence Care and Female Urology, Metro Urology Specialists, 2550 University Avenue West, Suite 240N, St. Paul, MN 55114

Correspondence Address:
Ronald W Glinski
Center for Continence Care and Female Urology, Metro Urology Specialists, 2550 University Avenue West, Suite 240N, St. Paul, MN 55114

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0970-1591.32069

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Objectives: In this review, we discuss the treatment of refractory overactive bladder (OAB) that has not adequately responded to medication therapy and we propose an appropriate care pathway to the treatment of OAB. We also attempt to address the cost of OAB treatments. Materials and Methods: A selective expert review of the current literature on the subject of refractory OAB using MEDLINE was performed and the data is summarized. We also review our experience in treating refractory OAB. The role and outcomes of various treatment options for refractory OAB are discussed and combined therapy with oral anticholinergics is explored. Emerging remedies including intravesical botulinum toxin injection and pudendal neuromodulation are also reviewed, along with conventional surgical options. Results: In general behavioral therapy, pelvic floor electrical stimulation, magnetic therapy and posterior tibial nerve stimulation (PTNS), have shown symptom decreases in 50-80% of patients with OAB. Depending on the study, combination therapy with oral anticholinergics seems to improve efficacy of behavioral therapy and PTNS in approximately 10-30%. In multicenter, long-term randomized controlled trials, sacral neuromodulation has been shown to improve symptoms of OAB and OAB incontinence in up to 80% of the patients treated. Studies involving emerging therapies such as pudendal serve stimulation suggest that there may be a 15-20% increase in efficacy over sacral neuromodulation, but long-term studies are not yet available. Another emerging therapy, botulinum toxin, is also showing similar success in reducing OAB symptoms in 80-90% of patients. Surgical approaches, such as bladder augmentation, are a last resort in the treatment of OAB and are rarely used at this point unless upper tract damage is a concern and all other treatment options have been exhausted. Conclusion: The vast majority of OAB patients can be managed successfully by behavioral options with or without anticholinergic medications. When those fail, neuromodulation or intravesical botulinum toxin therapies are successful alternatives for most of the remaining group. We encourage practitioners responsible for the care of OAB patients to gain experience with these options. More research is needed to assess the cost-effectiveness of various OAB treatments


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