Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation as add?on therapy in children receiving anticholinergics and/or mirabegron for refractory daytime urinary incontinence: A retrospective cohort study


To investigate if children with daytime urinary incontinence (DUI) and overactive bladder (OAB) refractory to standard urotherapy and medicinal treatment, would experience improvement in symptoms after add-on treatment with transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS).


Children were retrospectively enrolled from tertiary referral centers at Aarhus and Aalborg University Hospitals. All data were retrieved from the patients’ journals. All children were prescribed TENS as an add-on treatment to the highest-tolerable dose of medicinal treatment in a standardized regime of 2?h a day for around 3 months. Primary endpoints were the number of wet days per week (WDPW) and incontinence episodes per day. Effect of treatment was defined as greater or equal to 50% reduction in the frequency of DUI episodes. Secondary endpoints were to establish predictive factors for the effect of treatment using logistic regression.


Seventy-six children diagnosed with DUI and OAB refractory to treatment with standard urotherapy and pharmacological treatment, at the age of 5–16 years were included from February 2017 to February 2020. A reduction in WDPW (from 6.31 [5.86–6.61] to 4.27 [3.45–4.90], p?<?0.05) and incontinence episodes per day (from 2.45 [1.98–2.91] to 1.43 [1.07–1.80], p?<?0.05) was observed. Twelve patients became completely dry. At 6 months follow-up, seven of the 12 complete responders had relapsed while five remained dry. A history of constipation before TENS was a predictor of poor treatment response (p?=?0.016).


TENS as add-on to anticholinergic treatment seems effective in a number of children with treatment-refractory DUI.