More MS news articles for Sep 2001

Sacral Nerve Stimulation Shows Promise as Fecal Incontinence Treatment

WESTPORT, CT (Reuters Health) Sept 18 - Sacral nerve stimulation (SNS), an effective treatment for some forms of urinary incontinence, may also help patients with certain types of fecal incontinence, according to a report by Austrian investigators.

Dr. Harald R. Rosen and colleagues from the Danube Hospital in Vienna administered SNS to 15 patients with mainly neurologic fecal incontinence and to 5 patients with idiopathic fecal incontinence. Patients who responded to 10 to 14 days of temporary external stimulation underwent implantation of a permanent stimulator.

Sixteen patients demonstrated a positive pelvic floor response to temporary stimulation and received a permanent implant, the authors report in the September issue of Gastroenterology. The median number of incontinence episodes over a 3-week period decreased from 6, prior to implantation, to 2, post-implantation.

Subjects were able to retain a test volume of saline much longer after implantation than before. In addition, manometry testing revealed that implantation lead to a significant increase in maximal resting and squeeze pressures, the researchers note. Patients reported a significantly better quality of life after implantation than before.

"In our preliminary experience, SNS has shown promising results in the treatment of fecal incontinence of neurologic etiology as well as due to an idiopathic diffuse weakness of the pelvic floor," the investigators conclude. "Although a longer follow-up is needed to assess the long-term efficacy of this method, the initial promising results warrant further clinical studies focusing on this new modality," they add.

Gastroenterology 2001;121:536-541.

Copyright © 2001 Reuters Ltd