Clinical Trial: Transcutaneous Interferential Electrical Stimulation in Individuals with Irritable Bowel Syndrome - A Prospective Double-Blind Randomized Study

Coban S., Akbal E., Koklu S., Koklu G., Ulasli M. A., Erkec S., ...More

DIGESTION, vol.86, no.2, pp.86-93, 2012 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 86 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2012
  • Doi Number: 10.1159/000338301
  • Journal Name: DIGESTION
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.86-93
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Background: The exact etiology of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) remains unclear. Curative treatment is not available and current treatment modalities are mainly directed against the predominant symptoms. There are a few studies reporting the beneficial effects of transcutaneous electrical stimulation in patients with chronic constipation, gastroparesis, and functional dyspepsia. Aim: To investigate whether transcutaneous electrical stimulation is an effective procedure in IBS patients. Methods: IBS patients were randomly placed in vacuum interferential current (IFC) and placebo groups. Both treatments consisted of 12 sessions administered over 4 weeks. Symptoms due to IBS were documented via questionnaires, including the IBS Global Assessment of Improvement Scale, numeric rating scales, visual analogue scale, and IBS Quality of Life Scale at the beginning of, end of, and 1 month after the treatment. Results: Patients in the therapy (29 cases) and placebo (29 cases) groups were homogeneous with respect to demographic data and gastrointestinal system symptoms. When compared to the beginning scores, severity of abdominal discomfort, bloating, and abdominal distension and rumbling improved significantly in either interference or placebo groups at both the end of treatment and 1 month after treatment. In the IFC group, severity of symptoms continued to decrease significantly at 1 month after treatment when compared to scores at just the end of treatment, whereas in the placebo group severity of these symptoms did not change significantly on numeric severity scales. Also, the visual analogue scale of the first month after treatment continued to decrease significantly when compared to the level at the end of treatment in the IFC group. Total quality score increased significantly in the IFC group. Conclusions: Vacuum IFC therapy can significantly improve symptoms and quality of life in patients with IBS. It may represent a novel treatment modality for drug-refractory IBS patients. Copyright (c) 2012 S. Karger AG, Basel