JOURNAL ARTICLE
RESEARCH SUPPORT, U.S. GOV'T, P.H.S.
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Percutaneous sacral third nerve root neurostimulation improves symptoms and normalizes urinary HB-EGF levels and antiproliferative activity in patients with interstitial cystitis.

Urology 2000 May
OBJECTIVES: A highly effective treatment for interstitial cystitis (IC) remains elusive. We determined whether sacral third nerve root (S3) percutaneous neurostimulation (PNS) might be effective in relieving symptoms of IC, as well as in normalizing urinary factors that are specifically altered in IC.

METHODS: Six consecutive patients with symptoms and cystoscopic findings compatible with IC underwent 5 days of continuous S3 neurostimulation by way of leads placed percutaneously into the S3 foramen. Patients filled out voiding frequency diaries and pain and urgency questionnaires before PNS and at the end of PNS when the leads were removed. Urine specimens were collected at these two time points and measured for heparin-binding epidermal growth factor-like growth factor (HB-EGF) by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and for antiproliferative factor (APF) activity by (3)H-thymidine uptake by normal human bladder urothelial cells.

RESULTS: S3 PNS significantly improved all measured parameters toward normal values. Voiding frequency decreased twofold from 23.1 +/- 4.6 to 10.6 +/- 4.0 voids daily during PNS (P = 0.0001). Pelvic pain on a scale of 1 to 10 decreased from 7.0 +/- 1.6 to 2.3 +/- 3.2 (P = 0.05). Urinary urgency on a scale of 1 to 10 decreased from 6.0 +/- 2.2 to 1.8 +/- 1.7 (P = 0. 02). Urinary HB-EGF concentration increased sevenfold from 1.5 +/- 2. 1 to 11.0 +/- 1.7 ng/mL (P <0.0001), and urinary APF activity decreased from -76.1% +/- 31% to -4.5% +/- 8.8% (P = 0.005).

CONCLUSIONS: S3 PNS significantly decreased symptoms and normalized urinary HB-EGF and APF activity in patients with IC. These results suggest that permanent S3 PNS may be beneficial in treating IC.

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