Last updated on January 2019

Sacral Neuromodulation and the Microbiome


Brief description of study

Sacral neuromodulation (SNM) which is approved as a treatment for men and women with urgency urinary incontinence (UUI), urgency frequency syndrome, urinary retention and anal incontinence, is a procedure designed to deliver electrical pulses to the sacral nerves, thereby influencing the bladder, sphincters, and pelvic floor. Although the success rates of this treatment are quite high, the precise mechanism of action of SNM in subjects with UUI remains unclear. Moreover, there are little data regarding specific patient characteristics that may serve as "predictors" for SNM success. Recent studies suggest that the bacterial community that lives in the urinary tract plays a role in the development and continuation of urinary symptoms. It is proposed that the urinary microbiome may change in women before and after SNM implantation and this study aims to describe these changes. Investigators in this study also hope to determine if differences in the urinary microbiome exist in women with a positive response to SNM treatment (responders) compared to those without symptom improvement (non-responders). This hypothesis will be tested by collecting urine samples as well as questionnaire and medical data from subjects with UUI that are already planning on undergoing SNM as part of clinical care before and after their SNM treatment.

Detailed Study Description

One in four women reports bothersome symptoms of a pelvic floor disorder with 16% reporting urinary incontinence (UI). Sacral neuromodulation (SNM) which is approved for men and women with urgency urinary incontinence (UUI), urgency frequency syndrome, urinary retention and anal incontinence, is a procedure designed to deliver electrical pulses to the sacral nerves, thereby influencing the bladder, sphincters, and pelvic floor. SNM provides symptomatic relief in 70-86% of patients undergoing the procedure for UUI according to several recent prospective studies. Although the success rates are quite high, the precise mechanism of action of SNM in subjects with UUI remains unclear. Moreover, there are little data regarding specific patient characteristics that may serve as "predictors" for SNM success.

The microbiome refers to the genetic material of the micro-organisms present in a particular environment. The role of the microbiome has recently been implicated in several disease states (obesity, inflammatory bowel disease, and functional bowel disease. Initially, the urinary microbiome was not a part of the "human microbiome project" as it was widely accepted that urine is sterile. However, recent studies have noted the presence of a urinary microbiota in adult women without clinical urinary tract infections. Furthermore, recent studies have shown that the urinary microbiome differs among women with UUI versus those without UUI and also among women with interstitial cystitis / painful bladder syndrome versus those without it. These studies suggest that the urinary microbiome plays a role in the development and continuation of urinary symptoms.

Because of the invasiveness of the SNM procedure, it would be helpful to have a way to predict treatment success. Investigators in this study propose that the urinary microbiome may change in women before and after SNM implantation and hope to describe these changes by conducting this study. Investigators also hope to determine if differences in the urinary microbiome exist in women with a positive response to SNM treatment (responders) compared to those without symptom improvement (non-responders). This hypothesis will be tested by collecting urine samples from subjects with UUI that are already planning on undergoing SNM as part of clinical care before and after their SNM treatment.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT02833402

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