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    Electroacupuncture shows promise for SUI

    Electroacupuncture (EA) involving the lumbosacral region is safe, well-tolerated, and can reduce the amount of urine leakage in women with stress urinary incontinence (SUI), according to findings of a randomized sham-controlled clinical trial.

    Conducted by researchers at 12 hospitals in China, the study, which was published in JAMA (2017; 317:2493-2501), included 504 women assigned 1:1 to receive a 6-week course of EA or a sham procedure, each involving 18 30-minute sessions. Follow-up continued for an additional 24 weeks.

    Also see: How dynamic MRI compares with physical exam for evaluating POP

    Change from baseline to week 6 in the amount of urine leakage measured by the 1-hour pad test was analyzed as the primary endpoint, and the results showed statistically significant superiority of EA. Mean urine leakage in the EA and sham groups at baseline was 18.4 g and 19.1 g, respectively, and was decreased at week 6 by 9.9 g and 2.6 g, respectively (mean difference, 7.4 g; p<.001). The proportion of women achieving a clinically important ≥50% reduction in urine leakage from baseline was three-fold greater in the EA group compared with sham (64.6% vs. 21.7%; p<.001).

    The EA effect occurred early—mean decrease in urine leakage from baseline to week 2 was significantly greater in the EA group compared with sham—and as demonstrated by results of other secondary outcomes, it persisted to week 30. Analyses of change in mean number of 72-hour incontinence episodes during weeks 1-6, 15-18, 27-30, the proportion of patients with a ≥50% reduction in mean 72-hour incontinence episodes from baseline during weeks 1-6, 15-18, 27-30, and change in International Consultation on Incontinence Questionnaire-Short Form score from baseline to week 6, 18, and 30 all showed statistically significant differences favoring EA over sham.

    Next: Baoyan Liu, MD, discusses findings

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