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Review Article

The role of botulinum toxin A in treating neurogenic bladder


Neurogenic detrusor overactivity (NDO) can result in lower and upper urinary tract complications and eventually even in end-stage kidney failure. Since the driving force of this clinical cascade is high bladder pressure, controlling intravesical pressure in NDO patients improves both quality of life and life-expectancy in these patients. Botulinum toxin A (BTX-A) has proven its efficacy in reducing intravesical pressure and in reducing incontinence episodes. BTX-A also improves quality of life in patients with NDO. Both onabotulinumtoxinA (Botox®, Allergan, Irvine, USA) and abobotulinumtoxinA (Dysport®, Ipsen, Paris, France) have a level A recommendation for NDO-treatment. The recommended dose for intradetrusor injections in NDO patients is 200 U of onabotulinumtoxinA or 500 U of abobotulinumtoxinA. The drug is generally administered extratrigonal in the detrusor muscle, via cystoscopic guided injection at 20 sites in 1 mL injections. Intradetrusor BTX-A injections are safe, with mostly local complications such as urinary tract infection and high post-void residual or retention. The effect of the toxin lasts for approximately 9 months. Repeat injections can be performed without loss of efficacy. Different injection techniques, novel ways of BTX-A administration, eliminating the need for injection or new BTX-A types with better/longer response rates could change the field in the future.