The optimal bladder management method should preserve renal function and minimize the risk of urinary tract complications. The present study is conducted to assess the overall incidence of urinary tract infections (UTI) and other urological complications in spinal cord injury patients (SCI), and to compare the incidence of these complications with different bladder management subgroups.
Materials and Methods:
545 patients (386 males and 159 females) of traumatic spinal cord injury with the mean age of 35.4±16.2 years (range, 18 – 73 years) were included in the study. The data regarding demography, bladder type, method of bladder management, and urological complications, were recorded. Bladder management methods included indwelling catheterization in 224 cases, clean intermittent catheterization (CIC) in 180 cases, condom drainage in 45 cases, suprapubic cystostomy in 24 cases, reflex voiding in 32 cases, and normal voiding in 40 cases. We assessed the incidence of UTI and bacteriuria as the number of episodes per hundred person-days, and other urological complications as percentages.
The overall incidence of bacteriuria was 1.70 / hundred person-days. The overall incidenceof urinary tract infection was 0.64 / hundered person-days. The incidence of UTI per 100 person-days was 2.68 for indwelling catheterization, 0.34 for CIC, 0.34 for condom drainage, 0.56 for suprapubic cystostomy, 0.34 for reflex voiding, and 0.32 for normal voiding. Other urological complications recorded were urethral stricture (n=66, 12.1%), urethritis (n=78, 14.3%), periurethral abscess (n=45, 8.2%), epididymorchitis (n=44, 8.07%), urethral false passage (n=22, 4.03%), urethral fistula (n=11, 2%), lithiasis (n=23, 4.2%), hematuria (n=44, 8.07%), stress incontinence (n=60, 11%), and pyelonephritis (n=6, 1.1%). Clean intermittent catheterization was associated with lower incidence of urological complications, in comparison to indwelling catheterization.
Urinary tract complications largely appeared to be confined to the lower urinary tract. The incidence of UTI and other urological complications is lower in patients on CIC in comparison to the patients on indwelling catheterizations. Encouraging CIC; early recognition and treatment of the UTI and urological complications; and a regular follow up is necessary to reduce the medical morbidity.