Effectiveness of percutaneous posterior tibial nerve stimulation for overactive bladder: A systematic review and meta-analysis§


  • Christopher Chapple led the peer-review process as the Associate Editor responsible for the paper.

  • Conflict of interest: none.

  • §

    C. Burton: Search, data collection, and manuscript writing; A. Sajja: Data collection, analysis, and manuscript writing; P.M Latthe: Idea, protocol development, manuscript writing, and editing.



To evaluate the effectiveness of posterior percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation (PTNS) in treating overactive bladder (OAB) symptoms by systematic review of the literature.


Systematic literature search was carried out (up to April 2011) using relevant search terms in Medline, EMBASE, CINAHL, CENTRAL, National Library for Health, MetaRegister of controlled trials, LILACS, and Google Scholar. Relevant randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and prospective studies were selected and then analyzed by two-independent reviewers. Meta-analysis was performed with random effects model using STATA 8 for non-randomized prospective studies and with Review Manager 5.1 for RCTs.


The studies report variable initial success rates (37–82%) for treating OAB symptoms with PTNS. Four randomized trials compared PTNS with Sham treatment showing a significant difference favoring PTNS [RR 7.02 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.69–29.17]. Two randomized trials compared PTNS with antimuscarinic medication with no significant difference in the change in bladder diary parameters between the treatments. Ten prospective non-randomized studies were included. The definitions of success were varied. The pooled subjective success rate was 61.4% (95% CI 57.5–71.8) and objective success rate was 60.6% (95% CI 49.2–74.7).


There is evidence of significant improvement in OAB symptoms using PTNS which is comparable to the effect of antimuscarinics but with a better side effect profile. The studies included in the review only considered short-term outcomes after initial treatment. In order to recommend PTNS as a practical treatment option, long-term data and health economic analysis are needed. Neurourol. Urodynam. 31:1206–1216, 2012. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.