Collagen injection therapy in elderly women: long-term results and patient satisfaction

J C Winters, A Chiverton, H M Scarpero, L J Prats
Urology 2000, 55 (6): 856-61

OBJECTIVES: To evaluate long-term results and patient satisfaction using collagen injection therapy in elderly women.

METHODS: Periurethral injection of collagen using local anesthesia was performed on 58 women 65 years old or older (range 65 to 86, mean 73. 2) to treat stress urinary incontinence. All patients underwent urodynamic evaluation. Forty-nine patients (84.5%) had intrinsic sphincteric deficiency; 9 patients (15.5%) had genuine stress urinary incontinence. Twenty-one patients (36.2%) had no urethral hypermobility using Q-tip testing, and 37 (63.8%) had urethral hypermobility.

RESULTS: At 2 months after injection, the initial response was assessed: 28 patients (48.3%) were totally dry and 18 (31.0%) were socially continent. Therapy was unsuccessful in 12 (20. 7%). To achieve continence, 1 to 4 injections (mean 1.9) were required. The average total volume to achieve success was 14.6 mL. No significant differences were observed in outcome, volume injected, or number of injections in patients with versus without urethral hypermobility. At a mean follow-up of 24.4 months (range 8 to 43), of the 46 patients who achieved continence, 19 (41.3%) developed recurrent leakage and required reinjection. The average interval to recurrence was 7.9 months (range 2 to 16). Of the 19 patients reinjected, only 8 (42.1%) regained continence. The long-term success rate after repeated injections was 35 (60.3%) of 58. An independent examiner contacted 40 patients for telephone interview. To date, 25 of the patients contacted noted a moderate or maximal level of symptom improvement, and 18 reported continued improvement in quality of life. Thirty-six patients noted minimal difficulty with the procedure, and 34 would recommend the treatment.

CONCLUSIONS: Collagen is a safe, moderately effective alternative to manage stress urinary incontinence in elderly women. Elderly patients should be counseled that approximately 40% will experience recurrent leakage, which may not resolve with reinjection.

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