Botulinum neurotoxin A (BoNT/A) appears to be one of the best intravesical treatments for interstitial cystitis/bladder painful syndrome (IC/BPS). We aimed to point out what the evidence is regarding the effects of BoNT/A intravesically injected in patients with IC/BPS. We performed a systematic review of all randomized controlled trials (RCTs) assessing BoNT/A for IC/BPS by using Medline, EMBASE, CINAHL, CENTRAL and MetaRegister of Controlled Trials. Standardized mean differences (SMD) were extracted from the available trials and combined in a meta-analysis applying a random effect model, including heterogeneity of effects. Twelve trials were identified. Significant benefits from BoNT/A injections were detected in: Interstitial Cystitis Symptom Index and Problem Index (ICSI, ICPI) (small to medium effect size: SMD = –0.302; p
= 0.007 and –0.430, p
= 0.004, respectively); Visual Analog Scale (VAS) for pain and day-time urinary frequency (medium effect size: SMD = –0.576, p
< 0.0001 and –0.546, p
= 0.013, respectively). A great effect size was detected for post-void residual volume (PVR, SMD = 0.728; p
=0.002) although no clinically relevant in most cases. Great heterogeneity was observed in treatments’ methodologies and symptoms assessment. Overall, BoNT/A intravesical injections significantly improve some of the most relevant symptoms affecting IC/BPS patients.
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