The present systematic review and meta-analysis aims to investigate the role of Posterior Tibial Nerve Stimulation (PTNS) in the control of fecal incontinence (FI).
Two independent reviewers extensively searched in the electronic databases of Medline, Embase, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), Web of Science, CINAHL, and Scopus for the studies published until the end of 2016. Only randomized clinical trials were included. The studied outcomes included FI episodes, FI score, resting pressure, squeezing pressure, and maximum tolerable pressure. The data were reported as Standardized Mean Differences (SMD) with 95% confidence interval.
Five articles were included in the present study (249 patients under treatment with PTNS and 239 in the sham group). Analyses showed that PTNS led to a significant decrease in the number of FI episodes (SMD=-0.38; 95% CI: -0.67-0.10; P=0.009). Yet, it did not have an effect on FI score (SMD=0.13; 95% CI: -0.49-0.75; P=0.68), resting pressure (SMD=0.12; 95% CI: -0.14-0.37; P=0.67), squeezing pressure (SMD=-0.27; 95% CI: -1.03-0.50; P=0.50), and maximum tolerable pressure (SMD=-0.10; 95% CI: -0.40-0.24; P=0.52).
Based on the results, it seems that the prescription of PTNS alone cannot significantly improve FI.