CAM 10117

Pelvic Floor Stimulation as a Treatment of Urinary and Fecal Incontinence

Category:Durable Medical Equipment   Last Reviewed:April 2021
Department(s):Medical Affairs   Next Review:April 2022
Original Date:April 1998    

Description:
Pelvic floor stimulation (PFS) is proposed as a nonsurgical treatment option for women and men with urinary incontinence. This approach involves either electrical stimulation of pelvic floor musculature or extracorporeal pulsed magnetic stimulation. Electrical stimulation of the pelvic floor is also proposed as a treatment of fecal incontinence.

For individuals who have urinary incontinence who receive electrical PFS, the evidence includes randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and systematic reviews. Relevant outcomes are symptoms, change in disease status, quality of life and treatment-related morbidity. Findings from multiple RCTs have not found that electrical PFS used to treat urinary incontinence in women consistently improved the net health outcome compared with placebo or other conservative treatments. Meta-analyses of these RCTs have had mixed findings. Moreover, meta-analyses of RCTs have also not found a significant benefit of significant electrical PFS in men with postprostatectomy incontinence compared with a control intervention. The evidence is insufficient to determine the effects of the technology on health outcomes. 

For individuals who have fecal incontinence who receive electrical PFS, the evidence includes RCTs and systematic reviews. Relevant outcomes are symptoms, change in disease status, quality of life and treatment-related morbidity. Several RCTs have evaluated electrical PFS to treat fecal incontinence. Only 1 trial was sham-controlled, and it did not find that electrical stimulation improved the net health outcome. Systematic reviews of RCTs have not found that electrical stimulation is superior to control interventions for treating fecal incontinence. The evidence is insufficient to determine the effects of the technology on health outcomes.

For individuals who have urinary incontinence who receive magnetic PFS, the evidence includes RCTs and a systematic review. Relevant outcomes are symptoms, change in disease status, quality of life and treatment-related morbidity. A systematic review of RCTs on magnetic PFS for urinary incontinence in women concluded that the evidence was insufficient due to the small number of trials with short-term follow-up, methodologic limitations and heterogeneity in terms of patient populations, interventions and outcomes reporting. There was only 1 RCT evaluating magnetic stimulation for treating men with postprostatectomy urinary incontinence. The evidence is insufficient to determine the effects of the technology on health outcomes.

For individuals who have fecal incontinence who receive magnetic PFS, the evidence includes no RCTs or non-RCTs. Relevant outcomes are symptoms, change in disease status, quality of life and treatment-related morbidity. The evidence is insufficient to determine the effects of the technology on health outcomes. 

Background:
Pelvic Floor Stimulation
PFSinvolves electrical stimulation of pelvic floor muscles using either a probe wired to a device for controlling the electrical stimulation or, more recently, extracorporeal electromagnetic (also called magnetic) pulses. Stimulation of the pudendal nerve to activate the pelvic floor musculature may improve urethral closure. In addition, PFS is thought to improve partially denervated urethral and pelvic floor musculature by enhancing the process of reinnervation. Methods of electrical PFS have varied in location (e.g., vaginal, rectal), stimulus frequency, stimulus intensity or amplitude, pulse duration, pulse to rest ratio, treatments per day, number of treatment days per week, length of time for each treatment session, and overall time period for device use between clinical and home settings. Variations in the amplitude and frequency of the electrical pulse are used to mimic and stimulate the different physiologic mechanisms of the voiding response, depending on the etiology of the incontinence (i.e., either detrusor instability, stress incontinence, or a mixed pattern). Magnetic PFS does not require an internal electrode; instead, patients sit fully clothed on a specialized chair with an embedded magnet.

Patients receiving electrical PFS may undergo treatment in a physician's office or physical therapy facility, or patients may undergo initial training in a physician's office followed by home treatment with a rented or purchased pelvic floor stimulator. Magnetic PFS may be administered in the physician's office.

Regulatory Status
Several electrical stimulators have been cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In 2006, the MyoTrac Infiniti™ (Thought Technology) and in 2015, the ApexM (InControl Medical), nonimplanted electrical stimulators for treating urinary incontinence, were cleared for marketing by the FDA through the 510(k) process. Predicate devices also used to treat urinary incontinence, including the Pathway™ CTS 2000 (Prometheus Group) and the InCare® PRS (Hollister). In 2011, the itouch Sure Pelvic Floor Exerciser (TensCare) was cleared for marketing. This product is being marketed in the United States as EmbaGYN® (Everett Laboratories).

In 2000, the NeoControl® Pelvic Floor Therapy System (Neotonus) cleared through the FDA 510(k) process for treating urinary incontinence in women. This device, formerly known as the Neotonus Model 1000 Magnetic Stimulator, provides noninvasive electromagnetic stimulation of pelvic floor musculature. The magnetic system is embedded in a chair seat; patients sit on the chair fully clothed and receive the treatment. The magnetic fields are controlled by a separate power unit.

In 2014, the InTone® MV (InControl Medical), a nonimplantable device that provides electrical stimulation and/or biofeedback via manometry, was cleared by the FDA. The device is intended to treat male and female urinary and fecal incontinence.

FDA product code: KPI.

Related Policies
70169 Sacral Nerve Neuromodulation/Stimulation
701106 Posterior Tibial Nerve Stimulation for Voiding Dysfunction

Policy:
Electrical or magnetic stimulation of the pelvic floor muscles (pelvic floor stimulation) as a treatment for urinary incontinence is investigational and/or unproven and is therefore considered NOT MEDICALLY NECESSARY.

Electrical or magnetic stimulation of the pelvic floor muscles (pelvic floor stimulation) as a treatment for fecal incontinence is investigational and/or unproven and is therefore considered NOT MEDICALLY NECESSARY.

Benefit Applications
BlueCard®/National Account Issues
State or federal mandates (e.g., FEP) may dictate that all devices approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) may not be considered investigational. Therefore, FDA-approved devices may be assessed only on the basis of their medical necessity.

Rationale
This evidence review was created in April 1998 and has been updated regularly with searches of the PubMed database. The most recent literature update was performed through June 17, 2020.

The urinary incontinence portion of the review was informed by 2 TEC Assessments (2000), 1 on electrical pelvic floor stimulation (PFS) and the other on magnetic PFS.1,2

Evidence reviews assess the clinical evidence to determine whether the use of technology improves the net health outcome. Broadly defined, health outcomes are the length of life, quality of life, and ability to function-including benefits and harms. Every clinical condition has specific outcomes that are important to patients and managing the course of that condition. Validated outcome measures are necessary to ascertain whether a condition improves or worsens; and whether the magnitude of that change is clinically significant. The net health outcome is a balance of benefits and harms.

To assess whether the evidence is sufficient to draw conclusions about the net health outcome of technology, 2 domains are examined: the relevance, and quality and credibility. To be relevant, studies must represent one or more intended clinical uses of the technology in the intended population and compare an effective and appropriate alternative at a comparable intensity. For some conditions, the alternative will be supportive care or surveillance. The quality and credibility of the evidence depend on study design and conduct, minimizing bias and confounding that can generate incorrect findings. The randomized controlled trial (RCT) is preferred to assess efficacy; however, in some circumstances, nonrandomized studies may be adequate. RCTs are rarely large enough or long enough to capture less common adverse events and long-term effects. Other types of studies can be used for these purposes and to assess generalizability to broader clinical populations and settings of clinical practice.

Electrical Pelvic Floor Stimulation for Urinary Incontinence
Clinical Context and Therapy Purpose
The purpose of PFS in patients who have urinary incontinence is to provide a treatment option that is an alternative to or an improvement on existing therapies.

The question addressed in this evidence review is: Does the use of electrical PFS improve net health outcomes in patients with urinary incontinence?

The following PICO was used to select literature to inform this review.

Patients
The relevant populations of interest are patients with urinary incontinence. Types of urinary incontinence include stress incontinence, urgency incontinence, and mixed (both stress and urgency).

Urinary incontinence is a common condition and can have a substantial impact on the quality of life. Estimates from the National Center for Health Statistics have suggested that, among noninstitutionalized persons 65 years of age and older, 44% have reported issues with urinary incontinence.3  Urinary incontinence in women is common, with some estimates citing a 50% incidenceFactors that increase a woman's risk include older age, obesity, parity, vaginal delivery, and family history.

Urinary incontinence is less common in men, with estimates ranging from 11% to 16%4 in men greater than 65 years. Factors that increase a man's risk include older age, prostate disease, urinary tract infection history, impaired activities of daily living, neurologic disease, constipation, diabetes, and sleep apnea.

Interventions
The therapy being considered is electrical PFS for urinary incontinence. In an electrical PFS procedure, a probe delivers electrical pulses to stimulate the pudendal nerve, which activates the pelvic floor musculature. Activation of this musculature is believed to improve urethral closure. Electrical PFS is administered in a physician's office or a physical therapy facility. Patients may also be trained on the use of a PFS system to continue treatments at home.

Comparators
The following therapies are currently being used to make decisions about urinary incontinence: magnetic PFS or neuromodulation, behavioral therapies (e.g., monitoring fluid intake, bladder, and pelvic floor muscle training, diet), and medications. Patients may also be trained on the use of a PFS system to continue treatments at home.

Outcomes
The general outcomes of interest include a reduction in symptoms (e.g., number of incontinence episodes) and improvements in quality of life and cure rates. Short-term results can be measured at 6 months.5 Longer-term follow-up may be necessary to determine if treatment has durable effects.

Study Selection Criteria
Methodologically credible studies were selected using the following principles:

  • To assess efficacy outcomes, comparative controlled prospective trials were sought, with a preference for RCTs;

  • In the absence of such trials, comparative observational studies were sought, with a preference for prospective studies.

  • To assess long-term outcomes and adverse events, single-arm studies that capture longer periods of follow-up and/or larger populations were sought.

  • Studies with duplicative or overlapping populations were excluded.

Urinary Incontinence in Women
Review of Evidence
Systematic Reviews
A TEC Assessment (2000) concluded there was insufficient evidence that electrical PFS improved health outcomes compared with placebo or other behavioral therapies in women with stress, urge, or mixed incontinence.1

Subsequently, several systematic reviews of the literature with pooled study findings have been published.

A 2017 Cochrane review evaluated the effect of PFS on self-reported incontinence. 6 The review found no difference between PFS and pelvic floor muscle training (PFMT) in likelihood of cure of stress incontinence at 6 months based on the results of 4 RCTs (N = 143; RR 0.51, 95% CI 0.15 to 1.63). There was also no difference between groups in adverse event rates based on an imprecise estimate (RR 5.00, 95% CI 0.25 to 99). Quality of life was not reported. The same review included studies comparing PFS + PFMT versus PFMT alone, finding no difference between groups in incontinence rates based on 3 trials (N = 99; RR 0.76, 95% CI 0.38 to 1.52). The review found a small benefit of PFS + PFMT on incontinence-related quality of life when compared with PFMT alone (SMD -0.77, 95% CI -1.11 to -0.42). The review deemed the evidence for PFS alone or in combination with PFMT versus PFMT inconclusive for incontinence and quality of life outcomes.

An Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality comparative effectiveness review prepared by Shamliyan et al. (2012) identified 9 RCTs evaluating electrical intravaginal stimulation in women with urgency, stress, or mixed incontinence.7 Eight of the 9 studies were published in 2000 or earlier; nearly all used a sham treatment as the control. A pooled analysis of continence rates in 8 RCTs comparing electrical PFS with no active treatment yielded a relative risk (RR) of 2.86 (95% CI, 1.57 to 5.23). A pooled analysis of the reduction in incontinence symptoms yielded an RR of 2.01 (95% CI, 1.28 to 3.15). Reviewers concluded that a high level of evidence suggested electrical PFS is associated with increased continence rates, and that such stimulation improved urinary incontinence.

Moroni et al. (2016) published a systematic review of conservative treatment for stress urinary incontinence.8 Five trials (total n=221 women) were identified comparing intravaginal electrical PFS with control. There were insufficient data on cure rates (e.g., continence rates). A pooled analysis of 4 studies reporting urine quantity with a pad weight test found a significantly greater reduction in pad weight in the treatment vs control groups (mean difference, -9.15; 95% CI, -17.22 to -1.08). A pooled analysis of 2 studies found significantly greater improvement in the incontinence-specific quality of life in the electrical PFS group than in the control group (mean difference,= -1.44; 95% CI, -1.94 to -0.95). Three studies were included in a pooled analysis of a number of incontinence episodes; the findings were not reported. Reviewers stated that, among all conservative treatments assessed, evidence was strongest in support of PFS, with or without biofeedback, for treatment of stress urinary incontinence.

Men With Postprostatectomy Urinary Incontinence
Review of Evidence
Systematic Reviews
Several systematic reviews of RCTs have been published. A Cochrane review by Berghmans et al. (2013) identified 6 RCTs on electrical PFS with nonimplanted electrodes for postprostatectomy urinary incontinence in men.9 The trials varied by intervention used, study protocols, study populations, and outcome measures. In a pooled analysis of 4 RCTs comparing the combination of electrical stimulation and pelvic floor muscle exercises with pelvic floor muscle exercises alone, there was no statistically significant difference between groups in the proportion of men with urinary incontinence at 3 months (RR=0.93; 95% CI, 0.82 to 1.06). Findings from studies evaluating electrical PFS alone were not pooled.

Zhu et al. (2012) conducted a meta-analysis and reported similar findings for electrical PFS to treat postprostatectomy urinary incontinence.10 Reviewers identified 4 RCTs (total n=210 men) that provided sufficient data on clinical outcomes. A pooled analysis of data from 3 trials did not find a statistically significant benefit of electrical PFS on continence levels compared with controls within 3 months of prostatectomy (RR=1.21; 95% CI, 0.96 to 1.54). Similarly, a pooled analysis of data from all 4 trials did not show a statistically significant benefit of electrical PFS on continence levels 6 to 12 months after prostatectomy (RR=1.03: 95% CI, 0.88 to 1.20).

Randomized Controlled Trials
Representative trials of men with postprostatectomy urinary incontinence include the RCT by Goode et al (2011) comparing behavioral therapy alone with behavioral therapy plus biofeedback and electrical PFS.11 The trial included 208 men with urinary incontinence persisting at least 1 year after radical prostatectomy. Men with preprostatectomy incontinence were excluded. Participants were randomized to 1 of 3 groups: 8 weeks of behavioral therapy (pelvic floor muscle training plus bladder control exercises; n=70), behavioral therapy plus biofeedback and electrical stimulation (n=70), and a delayed-treatment control group (n=68). The biofeedback plus electrical stimulation intervention (called "behavior-plus") consisted of in-office electrical stimulation with biofeedback using an anal probe and daily home electrical PFS. After 8 weeks, patients in the 2 active treatment groups were given instructions for a maintenance program of pelvic floor exercises and fluid control; they were then given follow-up at 6 and 12 months. The primary efficacy outcome was a reduction in the number of incontinent episodes at 8 weeks, as measured by a 7 day bladder diary. A total of 176 (85%) of 208 randomized men completed the 8 weeks of treatment. In an intention-to-treat analysis of the primary outcome, the mean reduction in incontinent episodes was 55% (28 to 13 episodes per week) in the behavioral therapy group, 51% (from 26 to 12 episodes per week) in the behavior-plus group, and 24% (from 25 to 20 episodes per week) in the control group. The overall difference between groups was statistically significant (p=0.001), but the behavior-plus intervention did not result in a significantly better outcome than behavioral therapy alone. Findings were similar for other outcomes. For example, at the end of 8 weeks, there was a significantly higher rate of complete continence in the active treatment groups (11/70 [16%] in the behavior group vs 12/70 [17%] in the behavior-plus group) than in the control group (4/68 [6%]); however, the group receiving biofeedback and electrical PFS did not have a significantly higher continence rate than the group receiving behavioral therapy alone. The trial did not isolate the effect of electrical PFS, and the combined behavior-plus intervention did not result in better outcomes than behavioral therapy alone.

Yamanishi et al. (2010) published findings of an RCT comparing electrical stimulation with a sham control group.12 This trial, conducted in Japan, was double-blinded; in it, 56 men with severe postprostatectomy urinary incontinence were randomized to active (n=26) or sham (n=30) electrical PFS. All the men performed pelvic floor muscle training. Active or sham electrical PFS was performed until incontinence was resolved or until the end of the study at 12 months. Forty-seven patients (22 in the active stimulation group, 25 in the sham group) completed the trial. The continence rate (defined as loss of ≤8 g of urine during a 24-hour pad test) was the primary efficacy outcome. There was a statistically higher rate of continence at 1, 3, and 6 months in the active stimulation group than in the sham group but the between-group difference was not statistically significant at 12 months. The numbers of men reported as continent in the active electrical PFS group were 8 (36%), 14 (63%), 18 (81%), and 19 (86%) at 1, 3, 6, and 12 months, respectively. Corresponding rates in the sham group were 1 (4%), 4 (16%), 11 (44%), and 17 (86%), respectively. Differences in the amount (number of grams) of daily leakage as measured by 24-hour pad tests differed significantly between groups at 1 month; however, the difference disappeared at the 12-month follow-up. For example, after 1 month, the mean amount of leakage was 210 grams in the active treatment group and 423 grams in the sham group (p>0.05). Change in the amount of daily leakage from baseline differed significantly between groups at 1 month (-528 g in the active treatment group vs -257 g in the sham group, p<0.01) but not at the other follow-up time points.

Section Summary: Electrical Pelvic Floor Stimulation for Urinary Incontinence
A majority of RCTs on electrical PFS for treatment of women with urinary incontinence have been published before 2001. Meta-analyses of RCTs have had inconsistent findings on the impact of electrical intravaginal stimulation on urinary incontinence in women compared with sham treatment.

There are a few small RCTs evaluating electrical PFS as a treatment of postprostatectomy urinary incontinence in men. These studies have reported improvements in some outcomes with electrical PFS but also have limitations, such as failure to isolate the effect of electrical PFS; and/or failure to find a sham comparator or an accepted treatment comparator. Three pooled analyses of RCTs were identified: one did not find a statistically significant benefit of electrical PFS when added to pelvic floor muscle exercises; a second found a short-term benefit of electrical PFS compared with no stimulation or sham; and the third did not find a short- or long-term benefit of electrical PFS compared with any control condition.

Electrical Pelvic Floor Stimulation for Fecal Incontinence
Clinical Context and Therapy Purpose
The purpose of PFS in patients who have fecal incontinence is to provide a treatment option that is an alternative to or an improvement on existing therapies.

The question addressed in this evidence review is: Does the use of electrical PFS improve net health outcomes in patients with fecal incontinence?

The following PICO was used to select literature to inform this review.

Patients
The relevant populations of interest are patients with fecal incontinence. Fecal incontinence can have a substantial impact on the quality of life. Estimates from the National Center for Health Statistics have suggested that among noninstitutionalized persons, 65 years of age or older, 17% have reported issues with fecal incontinence. Risk factors for fecal incontinence are similar in men and women: older age, diarrhea, fecal urgency, urinary incontinence, and diabetes.

Interventions
The therapy being considered is electrical PFS for fecal incontinence. Electrical PFS is administered in a physician's office or a physical therapy facility. Patients may also be trained on the use of a PFS system to continue treatments at home.

Comparators
The following therapies are currently being used to make decisions about fecal incontinence: Nonsurgical treatment options for incontinence may include pharmacologic therapy, bowel training exercises, magnetic stimulation. Behavioral therapies including pelvic floor muscle training and diet.

Outcomes
The general outcomes of interest include a reduction in symptoms (e.g., number of incontinence episodes) and improvements in quality of life and cure rates. Electrical PFS therapy generally continues for 6-8 weeks.13,14

Study Selection Criteria
Methodologically credible studies were selected using the following principles:  

  • To assess efficacy outcomes, comparative controlled prospective trials were sought, with a preference for RCTs;

  • In the absence of such trials, comparative observational studies were sought, with a preference for prospective studies.

  • To assess long-term outcomes and adverse events, single-arm studies that capture longer periods of follow-up and/or larger populations were sought.

  • Studies with duplicative or overlapping populations were excluded.

Review of Evidence
Systematic Reviews
A systematic review by Vonthein et al. (2013) searched for studies on the impact of biofeedback and/or electrical PFS for treating fecal incontinence in adults.15 They identified 13 RCTs that used 1 or both of these treatments and reported health outcomes (e.g., remission or response rates using validated scales). A pooled analysis of trial results did not find statistically significant differences in rates of remission when comparing electrical PFS with a control intervention (RR=0.47; 95% CI, 0.13 to 1.72). A pooled analysis of studies comparing electrical PFS plus biofeedback with electrical PFS alone found a significantly higher rate of remission with the combination intervention (RR=22.97; 95% CI, 1.81 to 291.69). The latter analysis focused on the efficacy of biofeedback and not electrical PFS. Additionally, the confidence interval was very wide, indicating an imprecise estimate of the treatment effect. The Vonthein et al. (2013) review included only 2 RCTs on electrical PFS16,17 that were published after a Cochrane review (below). These 2 trials included the combination of amplitude-modulated medium-frequency stimulation and biofeedback. Electrical PFS was not evaluated in the absence of biofeedback.

A Cochrane review by Hosker et al. (2007) identified 4 RCTs evaluating electrical stimulation as a treatment of fecal incontinence in adults.18 One trial was sham-controlled, another compared electrical PFS with levatorplasty, and 2 used electrical PFS as an adjunct treatment. Reviewers did not pool study findings; they concluded that there is insufficient evidence to draw conclusions on the efficacy of electrical PFS for treating fecal incontinence.

Randomized Controlled Trials
Representative RCTs published are described next. An RCT by Cohen-Zubary et al. (2015) allocated 42 women with fecal incontinence to 6 weeks of electrical stimulation (n=22) or biofeedback training (n=20).13 Biofeedback sessions were conducted in-clinic and electrical PFS sessions at home following an initial training in-clinic. Thirty-six (86%) women completed the trial and were included in the analysis; the analysis was not intention-to-treat. The trial's primary endpoints were an improvement in frequency of fecal, urine, and gas incontinence, assessed using visual analog scale scores. There were no statistically significant differences between groups for the primary outcomes. The mean visual analog scale score (standard deviation) for solid stool incontinence at baseline in the stimulation group was 2.9 (2.8), which decreased to 0.9 (0.9) at follow-up. In the biofeedback group, the baseline visual analog scale score was 1.1 (2.1) and 0.3 (0.5) at follow-up. The between-group difference for this outcome was not statistically significant. For within-group changes, the electrical stimulation group improved significantly on solid stool incontinence-but not on liquid stool or gas incontinence-and the biofeedback group did not improve significantly on any of the fecal incontinence outcomes.

Norton et al. (2006) in the U.K. published a sham-controlled randomized trial that included 90 adults with fecal incontinence.14 Patients used a home electric PFS device for 8 weeks. Patients allocated to active treatment had the stimulation set at 35 Hz, with a 0.5-second ramped pulse. The sham stimulator looked identical but stimulation was set at 1 Hz below the level tested for therapeutic effect. Patients were blinded to the treatment group; although nurses who trained patients on device use were not. The primary outcome was patient self-report of efficacy, using a rating scale ranging from -5 to +5 to indicate symptom change. Seventy (78%) of the 90 patients completed the trial. In an intention-to-treat analysis (assigning patients who dropped out a value of 0), there was no statistically significant difference between groups in patient ratings of symptom change. On a scale of -5 to +5, there was a median rating of 0 in each group (p=0.92). In a completer analysis, the median change in symptoms was 2 in the active treatment group and 1 in the sham group (p=0.74). Groups did not differ significantly on other secondary outcomes such as the frequency of urge or passive incontinence after treatment.

Section Summary: Electrical Pelvic Floor Stimulation for Fecal Incontinence
Several RCTs have evaluated electrical stimulation for treating fecal incontinence. Only 1 was sham-controlled, and it did not find that active stimulation produced better results than sham stimulation. Systematic reviews of RCTs have not found that electrical stimulation is superior to control interventions for treating fecal incontinence.

Magnetic Pelvic Floor Stimulation for Urinary Incontinence
Clinical Context and Therapy Purpose
The purpose of magnetic PFS in patients who have urinary incontinence is to provide a treatment option that is an alternative to or an improvement on existing therapies.

The question addressed in this evidence review is: Does the use of magnetic PFS improve net health outcomes in patients with urinary incontinence?

The following PICO was used to select literature to inform this review.

Patients
The relevant populations of interest are patients with urinary incontinence. Types of urinary incontinence include stress incontinence, urgency incontinence, and mixed (both stress and urgency). Urinary incontinence in women is common, with some estimates citing a 50% incidenceFactors that increase a woman's risk include older age, obesity, parity, vaginal delivery, and family history. Urinary incontinence is less common in men, with estimates ranging from 11% to 34% in men greater than 65 years. Factors that increase a man's risk include older age, prostate disease, urinary tract infection history, impaired activities of daily living, neurologic disease, constipation, diabetes, and sleep apnea.

Interventions
The therapy being considered is magnetic PFS for urinary incontinence. The mechanism of action of a magnetic PFS procedure is similar to the electrical procedure, though using magnetic pulses to activate the pelvic floor musculature. The magnetic pulses are delivered without a probe, with patients sitting fully clothed in a specialized chair with an embedded magnet. Magnetic PFS is administered in a physician's office or a physical therapy facility. Patients may also be trained on the use of a rental PFS system to continue treatments at home.

Comparators
The following therapies are currently being used to make decisions about urinary incontinence: electrical PFS and behavioral therapies (e.g., monitoring fluid intake, pelvic floor muscle training, diet), and medications.

Outcomes
The general outcomes of interest include a reduction in symptoms (e.g., number of incontinence episodes) and improvements in quality of life and cure rates. Treatment is for approximately 8. weeks, and follow-up is generally at up to 6 months.

Women
Review of Evidence
Systematic Reviews
A systematic review of RCTs on magnetic stimulation for the treatment of urinary incontinence was published by Lim et al. (2015).19 Reviewers identified 8 blinded sham-controlled trials (total n=484 patients). Treatment protocols (e.g., frequency, duration of magnetic PFS) varied among trials. The primary outcome was cure rate; only 1 trial reported this outcome, so data were not pooled. A meta-analysis of 3 studies reporting improvements in the continence rates found significantly greater improvement in the treatment group than in the sham group (RR=2.29; 95% CI, 1.60 to 3.29). Due to the variability across trials in types of incontinence treated and/or outcome reporting, data were not pooled for other outcomes. Reviewers noted that the evidence was limited by low-quality trials with short-term follow-up.

Randomized Controlled Trials
Yamanishi et al. (2014) published an industry-sponsored evaluation of magnetic PFS provided to women with urinary urgency using an armchair-type stimulator.20 The device was produced by a Japanese company and does not have the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval. Patients received active (n=101) or sham (n=50) stimulation, 2 times a week for 6 weeks. The level of stimulation was tailored to each patient's maximum tolerable intensity; sham stimulation was set at a lower level than active treatment. Because noises differed between the 2 procedures, patients were isolated from the sounds to maintain blinding. Study personnel were not blinded. A total of 143 (95%) of 151 patients were included in the efficacy analysis. The primary endpoint was a change in the number of urinary incontinence episodes per week, as reported in a patient diary. The decrease in the weekly number (standard deviation) of incontinence episodes was 13 (11) in the active treatment group compared with 9 (13) in the sham group (p=0.038). Patients in the active stimulation group had significantly better results on some secondary outcomes (e.g., number of urgency episodes per 24 hours) but not others (e.g., number of voids per 24 hours).

A sham-controlled randomized trial evaluating magnetic PFS using the NeoControl chair did not find evidence that PFS improved outcomes. In this trial by Gilling et al. (2009) in New Zealand, sham treatment involved inserting a thin aluminum plate in the chair to prevent penetration of the magnetic field.21 The trial included 70 women, 35 in each group, with stress or mixed urinary incontinence. Both groups received 3 treatment sessions per week for 6 weeks. There was no significant difference between the active and sham treatment groups for the primary outcome measure, change from baseline in the 20-minute pad test result to 8 weeks after the start of treatment (2 weeks after finishing treatment). At 8 weeks, the mean change in the 20-minute pad test was 20.1 mL in the treatment group and 7.5 mL in the control group. The groups also did not differ significantly in the 20-minute pad weight or quality of life measure at the 6-month follow-up. Data from 29 (83%) women in the active treatment group and 26 (74%) women in the sham group were available at 6 months; all participants appear to be included in the 8-week outcomes analysis.

Men With Postprostatectomy Urinary Incontinence
One RCT was identified on magnetic PFS for treating postprostatectomy urinary incontinence. Yokoyama et al. (2004) reported findings from a 3-arm randomized trial.22 Thirty-six men (12 in each group) were randomized to extracorporeal magnetic PFS (NeoControl chair), functional electrical PFS, or pelvic floor exercises. The primary outcome was pad weight testing for up to 6 months after the one-month treatment period. At 1 month after catheter removal, pad weight was significantly lower in the electrical PFS group than in the control group; at 2 months after catheter removal, pad weight was significantly lower in the magnetic PFS group compared with the control group; and, beginning at 3 months after catheter removal, there were no significant differences across arms in pad weight. Additionally, there were no significant differences between groups in quality of life measurements at any follow-up point. The trial lacked a sham magnetic stimulation group and therefore a placebo effect cannot be ruled out as an explanation for the short-term reduction in pad weight in the magnetic PFS treatment group.

Section Summary: Magnetic Pelvic Floor Stimulation for Urinary Incontinence
A systematic review of RCTs evaluating the use of magnetic PFS for urinary incontinence in women concluded that the evidence was insufficient due to the small number of trials with short-term follow-up, methodologic limitations, and heterogeneity in terms of patient populations, interventions, and outcome reporting.

One RCT evaluated magnetic PFS for the treatment of men with postprostatectomy urinary incontinence. There was a greater improvement in pad weight at 2 months in the magnetic PFS group than in the pelvic floor muscle exercises group but there were no significant differences between groups beginning at 3 months. Other outcomes also did not favor the magnetic PFS group.

Magnetic Pelvic Floor Stimulation for Fecal Incontinence
Clinical Context and Therapy Purpose
The purpose of PFS in patients who have fecal incontinence is to provide a treatment option that is an alternative to or an improvement on existing therapies.

The question addressed in this evidence review is: Does the use of magnetic PFS improve net health outcomes in patients with fecal incontinence?

The following PICO was used to select literature to inform this review.

Patients
The relevant populations of interest are patients with fecal incontinence. Risk factors for fecal incontinence are similar in men and women: older age, diarrhea, fecal urgency, urinary incontinence, and diabetes. For women, current and past use of hormone therapy is an added risk factor. Fecal incontinence can have a substantial impact on the quality of life. Estimates from the National Center for Health Statistics have suggested that among noninstitutionalized persons, 65 years of age or older, 17% have reported issues with fecal incontinence.

Interventions
The therapy being considered is magnetic PFS for fecal incontinence. The mechanism of action of a magnetic PFS procedure is similar to the electrical procedure, though using magnetic pulses to activate the pelvic floor musculature. The magnetic pulses are delivered without a probe, with patients sitting fully clothed in a specialized chair with an embedded magnet. Magnetic PFS is administered in a physician's office or a physical therapy facility. Patients may also be trained on the use of a rental PFS system to continue treatments at home.

Comparators
The following therapies are currently being used to make decisions about fecal incontinence: Nonsurgical treatment options for incontinence may include pharmacologic therapy, bowel training exercises, and electrical stimulation. Behavioral therapies including pelvic floor muscle training and diet. Patients may also be trained on the use of a rental PFS system to continue treatments at home.

The general outcomes of interest include a reduction in symptoms (e.g., number of incontinence episodes) and improvements in quality of life and cure rates.

Outcomes
The general outcomes of interest include a reduction in symptoms (e.g., number of incontinence episodes) and improvements in quality of life and cure rates. Treatment is for approximately 8 weeks, and follow-up is generally at up to 6 months.

No studies were identified that evaluated magnetic PFS as a treatment of fecal incontinence.

Section Summary: Magnetic PFS for Fecal Incontinence
Current evidence is insufficiently robust to draw conclusions about the efficacy of magnetic PFS to treat fecal incontinence.

Summary of Evidence
For individuals who have urinary incontinence who receive electrical PFS, the evidence includes systematic reviews of RCTs. Relevant outcomes are symptoms, change in disease status, quality of life, and treatment-related morbidity. Findings from systematic reviews have not found that electrical PFS used to treat urinary incontinence in women consistently improves the net health outcome compared with placebo or other conservative treatments. Moreover, meta-analyses of RCTs have not found a significant benefit of electrical PFS in men with postprostatectomy incontinence compared with a control intervention. The evidence is insufficient to determine the effects of the technology on health outcomes.

For individuals who have fecal incontinence who receive electrical PFS, the evidence includes RCTs and systematic reviews. Relevant outcomes are symptoms, change in disease status, quality of life, and treatment-related morbidity. Among the RCTs that have evaluated electrical PFS as a treatment for fecal incontinence only 1 trial was sham-controlled, and it did not find that electrical stimulation improved the net health outcome. Systematic reviews of RCTs have not found that electrical stimulation is superior to control interventions for treating fecal incontinence. The evidence is insufficient to determine the effects of the technology on health outcomes.

For individuals who have urinary incontinence who receive magnetic PFS, the evidence includes RCTs and a systematic review. Relevant outcomes are symptoms, change in disease status, quality of life, and treatment-related morbidity. A systematic review of RCTs on magnetic PFS for urinary incontinence in women concluded that the evidence was insufficient due to the following factors: a low number of trials with short-term follow-up, methodologic limitations, as well as heterogeneity in patient populations, interventions, and outcomes reported. One RCT evaluating magnetic stimulation for treating men with postprostatectomy urinary incontinence reported short-term results favoring magnetic PFS; however, the trial was small and lacked a sham comparator. The evidence is insufficient to determine the effects of the technology on health outcomes.

For individuals who have fecal incontinence who receive magnetic PFS, the evidence includes no RCTs or non-RCTs. Relevant outcomes are symptoms, change in disease status, quality of life, and treatment-related morbidity. The evidence is insufficient to determine the effects of the technology on health outcomes.

Practice Guidelines and Position Statements
American Urological Association
In 2014, the American Urological Association published guidelines on the diagnosis and management of overactive bladder.23 Neither electrical pelvic floor stimulation (PFS) nor magnetic PFS was mentioned as recommended first-, second-, or third-line treatment options.

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence
In 2019, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) issued guidance on the management of urinary incontinence in women.24 The NICE stated that electrical stimulation, alone or as an adjunct to pelvic floor muscle training, should not be routinely used to treat women with overactive bladder. The NICE guidance further stated: "electrical stimulation and/or biofeedback should be considered in women who cannot actively contract pelvic floor muscles in order to aid motivation and adherence to therapy." Magnetic PFS is not mentioned.

In 2007, the NICE issued guidance on the management of fecal incontinence in adults.25 (This guidance was last reviewed by NICE in 2018.) The document stated that that the evidence on electrical stimulation for treatment of fecal incontinence was inconclusive. The NICE recommended that patients who continue to have episodes of fecal incontinence after initial treatment be considered for specialized management, which may include electrical PFS. Magnetic PFS is not mentioned.

American College of Physicians
The American College of Physicians (2014) issued guidelines on the nonsurgical management of urinary incontinence.26 Electrical PFS and magnetic PFS were not discussed.

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Recommendations
Not applicable.

Ongoing and Unpublished Clinical Trials
Some currently unpublished trials that might influence this review are listed in Table 1.

Table 1. Summary of Key Trials  

NCT No. Trial Name Planned Enrollment Completion Date
Ongoing      
NCT03969368 Randomized Trial of rPMS Pelvic Floor Stimulation Device Compared With Pelvic Floor Exercises for Treatment of Urinary Incontinence 150 December 2020
Unpublished      
NCT02599831 Efficacy of Electrical Pudendal Nerve Stimulation for Patients with Postprostatectomy Incontinence 96 Aug 2017(completed)
NCT01924728a A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial to Investigate the Effects of Transpelvic Magnetic Stimulation (Using QRS®-1010 PelviCenter) in Patients with Stress Urinary Incontinence 120 Feb 2016(completed)

NCT: national clinical trial.
a Denotes industry-sponsored or cosponsored trial.  

References 

  1. Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association Technology Evaluation Center (TEC). Pelvic floor electrical stimulation in the treatment of urinary incontinence in adults. TEC Assessments. 2000;Volume 15:Tab 2.
  2. Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association Technology Evaluation Center (TEC). Magnetic stimulation in the treatment of urinary incontinence in adults. TEC Assessments. 2000;Volume 15:Tab 8.
  3. Gorina Y, Schappert S, Bercovitz A, et al. Prevalence of incontinence among older americans. Vital Health Stat 3. Jun 2014; (36): 1-33. PMID 24964267
  4. Markland AD, Goode PS, Redden DT, et al. Prevalence of urinary incontinence in men: results from the national health and nutrition examination survey. J Urol. Sep 2010; 184(3): 1022-7. PMID 20643440
  5. Abdelbary AM, El-Dessoukey AA, Massoud AM, et al. Combined Vaginal Pelvic Floor Electrical Stimulation (PFS) and Local Vaginal Estrogen for Treatment of Overactive Bladder (OAB) in Perimenopausal Females. Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT). Urology. Sep 2015; 86(3): 482-6. PMID 26135813
  6. Stewart F, Berghmans B, Bo K, et al. Electrical stimulation with non-implanted devices for stress urinary incontinence in women. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. Dec 22 2017; 12: CD012390. PMID 29271482
  7. Shamliyan T, Wyman J, Kane R. Nonsurgical Treatments for Urinary Incontinence in Adult Women: Diagnosis and Comparative Effectiveness (Comparative Effectiveness Review 36). Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; 2012.
  8. Moroni RM, Magnani PS, Haddad JM, et al. Conservative Treatment of Stress Urinary Incontinence: A Systematic Review with Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Rev Bras Ginecol Obstet. Feb 2016; 38(2): 97-111. PMID 26883864
  9. Berghmans B, Hendriks E, Bernards A, et al. Electrical stimulation with non-implanted electrodes for urinary incontinence in men. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. Jun 06 2013; (6): CD001202. PMID 23740763
  10. Zhu YP, Yao XD, Zhang SL, et al. Pelvic floor electrical stimulation for postprostatectomy urinary incontinence: a meta-analysis. Urology. Mar 2012; 79(3): 552-5. PMID 22386394
  11. Goode PS, Burgio KL, Johnson TM, et al. Behavioral therapy with or without biofeedback and pelvic floor electrical stimulation for persistent postprostatectomy incontinence: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA. Jan 12 2011; 305(2): 151-9. PMID 21224456
  12. Yamanishi T, Mizuno T, Watanabe M, et al. Randomized, placebo controlled study of electrical stimulation with pelvic floor muscle training for severe urinary incontinence after radical prostatectomy. J Urol. Nov 2010; 184(5): 2007-12. PMID 20850831
  13. Cohen-Zubary N, Gingold-Belfer R, Lambort I, et al. Home electrical stimulation for women with fecal incontinence: a preliminary randomized controlled trial. Int J Colorectal Dis. Apr 2015; 30(4): 521-8. PMID 25619464
  14. Norton C, Gibbs A, Kamm MA. Randomized, controlled trial of anal electrical stimulation for fecal incontinence. Dis Colon Rectum. Feb 2006; 49(2): 190-6. PMID 16362803
  15. Vonthein R, Heimerl T, Schwandner T, et al. Electrical stimulation and biofeedback for the treatment of fecal incontinence: a systematic review. Int J Colorectal Dis. Nov 2013; 28(11): 1567-77. PMID 23900652
  16. Schwandner T, Konig IR, Heimerl T, et al. Triple target treatment (3T) is more effective than biofeedback alone for anal incontinence: the 3T-AI study. Dis Colon Rectum. Jul 2010; 53(7): 1007-16. PMID 20551752
  17. Schwandner T, Hemmelmann C, Heimerl T, et al. Triple-target treatment versus low-frequency electrostimulation for anal incontinence: a randomized, controlled trial. Dtsch Arztebl Int. Sep 2011; 108(39): 653-60. PMID 22013492
  18. Hosker G, Cody JD, Norton CC. Electrical stimulation for faecal incontinence in adults. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. Jul 18 2007; (3): CD001310. PMID 17636665
  19. Lim R, Lee SW, Tan PY, et al. Efficacy of electromagnetic therapy for urinary incontinence: A systematic review. Neurourol Urodyn. Nov 2015; 34(8): 713-22. PMID 25251335
  20. Yamanishi T, Homma Y, Nishizawa O, et al. Multicenter, randomized, sham-controlled study on the efficacy of magnetic stimulation for women with urgency urinary incontinence. Int J Urol. Apr 2014; 21(4): 395-400. PMID 24118165
  21. Gilling PJ, Wilson LC, Westenberg AM, et al. A double-blind randomized controlled trial of electromagnetic stimulation of the pelvic floor vs sham therapy in the treatment of women with stress urinary incontinence. BJU Int. May 2009; 103(10): 1386-90. PMID 19154474
  22. Yokoyama T, Nishiguchi J, Watanabe T, et al. Comparative study of effects of extracorporeal magnetic innervation versus electrical stimulation for urinary incontinence after radical prostatectomy. Urology. Feb 2004; 63(2): 264-7. PMID 14972468
  23. Gormley EA, Lightner DJ, Burgio KL, et al. Diagnosis and Treatment of Non-Neurogenic Overactive Bladder (OAB) in Adults: AUA/SUFU Guideline. 2014; https://www.auanet.org/guidelines/overactive-bladder-(oab)- (aua/sufu-guideline-2012-amended-2014). Accessed August 27, 2019
  24. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) Guideline. Urinary Incontinence and Pelvic Organ Prolapse in Women: Management. NICE Guideline. 2019. Accessed June 22, 2020. https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng123
  25. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). Faecal incontinence in adults: management [CG49]. 2007; https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg49. Accessed June 22, 2020.
  26. Qaseem A, Dallas P, Forciea MA, et al. Nonsurgical management of urinary incontinence in women: a clinical practice guideline from the American College of Physicians. Ann Intern Med. Sep 16 2014; 161(6): 429-40. PMID 25222388
  27. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). CMS Manual System: Pub 100-03 Medicare National Coverage Determinations; Transmittal 48. 2006; https://www.cms.gov/medicare-coverage-database/details/ncd- details.aspx?NCDId=231&ncdver=2&NCAId=61&TAId=10&SearchType=Advanced&CoverageSelection=Both&N CSelection=NCA%257CCAL%257CNCD%257CMEDCAC%257CTA%257CMCD&ArticleType=Ed%257CKey%2 57CSAD%257CFAQ&PolicyType=Final&s=All&KeyWord=Incontinence&KeyWordLookUp=Title&KeyWordSearc hType=Exact&CptHcpcsCode=E0740&kq=true&bc=IAAAACAAQAAA&. Accessed June 2020.

Coding Section 

Codes Number Description
CPT 53899 Unlisted procedure, urinary system (to be used for pulsed magnetic stimulation for the treatment of incontinence)
  97014

Application of a modality that does not require direct (oneon-one) contact by the provider – Application of a modality to one or more areas; electrical stimulation (unattended)

  97032 Application of a modality that requires direct (one-on-one) patient contact by the provider—Application of a modality to one or more areas; electrical stimulation (manual), each 15 minutes
ICD-9 Procedure No Code  
ICD-9 Diagnosis   Investigational for all codes
HCPCS E0740 Incontinence treatment system; pelvic floor stimulator, monitor, sensor and/or trainer
ICD-10-CM (effective 10/01/15)   Investigational for all relevant diagnoses
  F98.0 Enuresis not due to a substance or known physiological condition
  F98.1 Encopresis not due to a substance or known physiological condition
  N39.3 Stress incontinence (female) (male)
  N39.41-N39.498 Other specified urinary incontinence
  R15.9 Full incontinence of feces
ICD-10-PCS (effective 10/01/15)   ICD-10-PCS codes are only for use on inpatient services.
  6A210ZZ Electrical stimulation, urinary system, single duration
  6A211ZZ Electrical stimulation, urinary system, multiple duration
Type of Service Durable Medical Equipment  
Place of Service Outpatient; home  

Procedure and diagnosis codes on Medical Policy documents are included only as a general reference tool for each policy. They may not be all-inclusive.

This medical policy was developed through consideration of peer-reviewed medical literature generally recognized by the relevant medical community, U.S. FDA approval status, nationally accepted standards of medical practice and accepted standards of medical practice in this community, Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association technology assessment program (TEC) and other non-affiliated technology evaluation centers, reference to federal regulations, other plan medical policies, and accredited national guidelines.

"Current Procedural Terminology © American Medical Association.  All Rights Reserved" 

History From 2014 Forward     

04/01/2021 

Annual review, no change to policy intent. Updating rationale and references. 

04/01/2020 

Annual review, no change to policy intent. Updating background, regulatory status, rationale and references. 

04/01/2019 

Annual review, no change to policy intent. Updating background, rationale and references. 

04/18/2018 

Annual review, no change to policy intent. Updating rationale and references. 

04/03/2017 

Annual review, no change to policy intent. Updating background, description, rationale and references. 

04/25/2016 

Annual review, no change to policy intent.Updating background, description, rationale and references. 

04/08/2015 

Annual review, no change to policy intent. Added coding. 

04/21/2014

Updated title and added policy verbiage advising this is investigatgional for fecal incontinence. Updated background, description, policy verbiage, regulatory status, rationale and references.

04/15/2014

Annual review. Updated rationale and references. Added benefit application and related policies.


Go Back