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1.  The method of bladder drainage in spinal cord injury patients may influence the histological changes in the mucosa of neuropathic bladder – a hypothesis 
BMC Urology  2002;2:5.
Background
In spinal cord injury (SCI) patients, no correlation was found between the number of bladder infections per year, the period since injury, the neurologic level of the spinal cord lesion and the histopathology of the urinary bladder mucosa. The use of chronic indwelling urethral and/or suprapubic catheters in SCI patients is often associated with inflammatory and proliferative pathological conditions in neuropathic bladder.
Presentation of the hypothesis
We propose a hypothesis that the type of bladder drainage in SCI patients influences the histological changes in the mucosa of neuropathic bladder. This hypothesis implies that SCI patients with long-term indwelling urinary catheters develop certain histological changes in bladder mucosa, which are seen less frequently in SCI patients, who do not use long-term indwelling catheters. The latter group includes patients, who perform regular intermittent catheterisation and those, who wear a penile sheath and empty their bladders satisfactorily by reflex voiding.
We hypothesise that the following histological lesions are seen more frequently in the neuropathic bladder of SCI patients with long-term indwelling catheters.
(1) Papillary or polypoid cystitis; (2) widespread cystitis glandularis; (3) moderate to severe, acute and chronic inflammatory changes in bladder mucosa; (4) follicular cystitis; (5) squamous metaplasia; and (6) urothelial dysplasia
As per this hypothesis, it is postulated that the above pathological conditions are seen less often in SCI patients, who achieve complete, low-pressure emptying of the neuropathic bladder by regular intermittent catheterisation, and SCI patients with penile sheath drainage, who empty their bladders satisfactorily by reflex voiding.
Testing the hypothesis
A large prospective study of bladder biopsies in SCI patients practising different methods of bladder drainage is required to validate this hypothesis that the histological changes in bladder mucosa are related to the method of bladder drainage in SCI patients.
Implications of the hypothesis
We propose a hypothesis that the method of bladder drainage in SCI patients influences histological changes in the bladder mucosa. If this hypothesis is validated, methods of bladder drainage such as intermittent catheterisation, which do not require the use of chronic indwelling catheters, should be recommended, in order to minimise adverse histological changes in the mucosa of neuropathic bladder of spinal cord injury patients.
doi:10.1186/1471-2490-2-5
PMCID: PMC113259  PMID: 11980583
2.  Long-term nephrostomy in an adult male spinal cord injury patient who had normal upper urinary tracts but developed bilateral hydronephrosis following penile sheath drainage: pyeloplasty and balloon dilatation of ureteropelvic junction proved futile: a case report 
Cases Journal  2009;2:9335.
Introduction
The consequences of spinal cord injury upon urinary bladder are readily recognised by patients and health care professionals, since neuropathic bladder manifests itself as urinary incontinence, or retention of urine. But health care professionals and persons with spinal cord injury may not be conversant with neuropathic dysmotility affecting the ureter and renal pelvis. We report an adult male patient with spinal cord injury, who developed bilateral hydronephrosis after he started managing neuropathic bladder by penile sheath drainage.
Case presentation
A male patient, born in 1971, sustained spinal cord injury following a motorbike accident in September 1988. In November 1988, intravenous urography showed normal upper tracts. He was advised spontaneous voiding with 2-3 catheterisations a day. In February 1995, this patient developed fever, chills and vomiting. Blood urea: 23.7 mmol/L; creatinine: 334 umol/L. Ultrasound revealed marked hydronephrosis of right kidney and mild hydronephrosis of left kidney. Bilateral nephrostomy was performed in March 1995. Right pyeloplasty was performed in May 1998. In July 2005, this patient developed urine infection and was admitted to a local hospital with fever and rigors. He developed septicaemia and required ventilation. Ultrasound examination of abdomen revealed bilateral hydronephrosis and multiple stones in left kidney. Percutaneous nephrostomy was performed on both sides. Subsequently, extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy of left renal calculi was carried out. Right nephrostomy tube slipped out in January 2006; percutaneous nephrostomy was performed again. In June 2006, left ureteric antegrade stenting was performed and nephrostomy tube was removed. Currently, right kidney is drained by percutaneous nephrostomy and left kidney is drained by ureteric stent. This patient has indwelling urethral catheter.
Conclusion
It is possible that regular intermittent catheterisations along with anticholinergic medication right from the time of rehabilitation after this patient sustained paraplegia might have prevented the series of urological complications. Key components to successful management of external drainage of kidney in this patient are: [1] use of size 14 French pigtail catheter for long-term nephrostomy, [2] anchoring the catheter to skin to with Percufix catheter cuff to prevent accidental tug [3], replacing the nephrostomy dressing once a week by the same team in order to provide continuity of care, and [4] changing nephrostomy catheter every six months by a senior radiologist.
doi:10.1186/1757-1626-2-9335
PMCID: PMC2803994  PMID: 20062594
3.  Hydronephrosis and renal failure following inadequate management of neuropathic bladder in a patient with spinal cord injury: Case report of a preventable complication 
Background
Condom catheters are indicated in spinal cord injury patients in whom intravesical pressures during storage and voiding are safe. Unmonitored use of penile sheath drainage can lead to serious complications.
Case report
A 32-year old, male person, sustained complete paraplegia at T-11 level in 1985. He had been using condom catheter. Eleven years after sustaining spinal injury, intravenous urography showed no radio-opaque calculus, normal appearances of kidneys, ureters and bladder. Blood urea and Creatinine were within reference range. A year later, urodynamics revealed detrusor pressure of 100 cm water when detrusor contraction was initiated by suprapubic tapping. This patient was advised intermittent catheterisation and take anti-cholinergic drug orally; but, he wished to continue penile sheath drainage. Nine years later, this patient developed bilateral hydronephrosis and renal failure. Indwelling urethral catheter drainage was established. Five months later, ultrasound examination of urinary tract revealed normal kidneys with no evidence of hydronephrosis.
Conclusion
Spinal cord injury patients with high intravesical pressure should not have penile sheath drainage as these patients are at risk for developing hydronephrosis and renal failure. Intermittent catheterisation along with antimuscarinic drug should be the preferred option for managing neuropathic bladder.
doi:10.1186/1754-9493-6-22
PMCID: PMC3495664  PMID: 23014062
4.  Pyonephrosis and urosepsis in a 41-year old patient with spina bifida: Case report of a preventable death 
Background
Urological complications are the major cause of ill health in patients with spina bifida. Urinary sepsis accounted for the majority of admissions in patients with spina bifida. As the patient grows older, changes occur in the adult bladder, leading to increases in storage pressure and consequent risk of deterioration of renal function, which may occur insidiously.
Case presentation
A 34-year-old male spinal bifida patient had been managing neuropathic bladder by penile sheath. Intravenous urography revealed normal kidneys. This patient was advised intermittent catheterisations. But self-catheterisation was not possible because of long, overhanging prepuce and marked spinal curvature. This patient developed repeated urine infections. Five years later, ultrasound examination of urinary tract revealed hydronephrotic right kidney with echogenic debris within the collecting system. There was no evidence of dilatation of the ureter near the vesicoureteric junction. The left kidney appeared normal. There was no evidence of calculus disease seen in either kidney. Indwelling urethral catheter drainage was established.
Two years later, MAG-3 renogram revealed normal uptake and excretion by left kidney. The right kidney showed little functioning tissue. Following a routine change of urethral catheter this patient became unwell. Ultrasound examination revealed hydronephrotic right kidney containing thick hyper-echoic internal septations and debris in the right renal pelvis suspicious of pyonephrosis. Under both ultrasound and fluoroscopic guidance, an 8 French pig tail catheter was inserted into the right renal collecting system. 150 ml of turbid urine was aspirated immediately. This patient developed large left pleural effusion, collapse/consolidation of the left lower lobe, a large fluid collection in the abdomen extending into the pelvis and expired twenty days later because of sepsis and respiratory failure.
Conclusion
Although penile sheath drainage may be convenient for a spina bifida patient and the carers, hydronephrosis can occur insidiously. With recurrent urine infections, hydronephrotic kidney can become pyonephrosis, which is life-threatening. Therefore, every effort should be made to carry out intermittent catheterisations along with antimuscarinic drug therapy.
doi:10.1186/1754-9493-6-10
PMCID: PMC3407709  PMID: 22613462
5.  Hourglass urinary bladder in a spinal cord injury patient - unusual late complication of suprapubic cystostomy: a case report 
Cases Journal  2009;2:6866.
Introduction
Suprapubic cystostomy is performed in spinal cord injury patients in order to prevent complications associated with long-term urethral catheter drainage. We report a patient in whom suprapubic catheter did not drain urine satisfactorily and imaging studies revealed hourglass bladder.
Case presentation
A female patient sustained paraplegia in a traffic accident in 1994 at the age of seventeen years. When she was discharged from spinal unit, she was performing self- catheterisations. In 1995, indwelling urethral catheter drainage was instituted, as she was not able to cope up with self-catheterisations. Intravenous urography, performed in 1994, 1997, 2000 and 2003 showed urinary bladder of normal shape. In 2004, this patient developed frequent blockages and bypassing of catheter; therefore, suprapubic cystostomy was performed. In 2005, she was leaking urine per urethra; therefore, an indwelling catheter was inserted; both suprapubic and urethral catheters drained urine. In 2008, suprapubic catheter failed to drain any urine. Cystogram revealed hourglass bladder. The balloon of suprapubic Foley catheter was located in the upper compartment of hourglass bladder whereas the urethral catheter was placed in the inferior compartment. Ultrasound examination of urinary bladder showed two compartments of hourglass bladder separated by a narrow waist. Computed tomography cystogram delineated smaller superior and larger inferior compartment of the hourglass bladder. At present this patient is happy to manage her bladder with suprapubic and urethral catheters.
Conclusion
When prompt replacement of a mal-functioning suprapubic catheter fails to rectify the problem, computer tomography cystography should be performed to check precise location of suprapubic catheter and structural abnormalities of urinary bladder. In this patient, cystogram revealed hourglass bladder. Possible reasons for development of hourglass bladder in spinal cord injury patients are: traction applied to dome of urinary bladder by Foley balloon when suprapubic catheter is taped tightly to anterior abdominal wall for several months; uncoordinated contractions of detrusor muscle; chronic cystitis leading to hypertrophy of bladder wall.
doi:10.1186/1757-1626-2-6866
PMCID: PMC2740240  PMID: 19829874
6.  Long catheter sign: a reliable bedside sign of incorrect positioning of foley catheter in male spinal cord injury patients 
Cases Journal  2008;1:43.
Introduction
Indwelling urethral catheter is often used in male spinal cord injury patients to provide drainage to neuropathic bladder. If the balloon of a Foley catheter is inflated in urethra or, when a properly inserted Foley catheter is later pulled and thereby, the Foley balloon comes to lie in urethra, an excessive length of catheter will remain outside the penis. This sign is termed "long catheter sign". Long catheter sign will also be positive when Foley catheter slips out of urinary bladder in situations where Foley balloon is ruptured by a spiky vesical calculus or deflated due to a defective valve.
Case Presentation
A fifty-year-old Caucasian male with paraplegia at T-5 level had been managing neuropathic bladder by long-term indwelling urethral catheter. During his stay in spinal unit, the patient felt that there had been a tug on the drainage tube when he was being turned during night as part of the routine care for relief of pressure. Next morning, a health professional noticed that a long segment of catheter was lying outside penis. There was no bleeding from urethral meatus. Catheter continued to drain urine, which was yellowish in colour. Urine output was satisfactory. This patient did not develop any clinical feature of autonomic dysreflexia nor was he feeling unwell. In view of positive long catheter sign, radiological studies were performed to check the position of Foley catheter, which confirmed the clinical impression of incorrectly positioned Foley catheter. The catheter was removed; flexible cystoscopy was performed. A 16 Fr, 20 ml balloon Foley catheter was inserted over a 0.032" guide wire. Following this procedure, a considerably shorter length of Foley catheter remained outside the penis.
Conclusion
Positive long catheter sign indicates that the Foley catheter is placed incorrectly and needs repositioning urgently. Prompt recognition of long catheter sign and immediate repositioning of Foley catheter will help to prevent complications such as chronic distension of urinary bladder, urine infection, and pressure necrosis of urethra especially if Foley balloon remains inflated within urethra for a long period. In this patient, use of a Foley catheter with 20 ml balloon, and securing the drainage tube to thigh with two straps, helped to prevent inadvertent pull of Foley balloon into the urethra.
doi:10.1186/1757-1626-1-43
PMCID: PMC2488320  PMID: 18637181
7.  A randomized controlled trial to assess the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of urinary catheters with silver alloy coating in spinal cord injured patients: trial protocol 
BMC Urology  2013;13:38.
Background
Patients with non-acute spinal cord injury that carry indwelling urinary catheters have an increased risk of urinary tract infection (UTIs). Antiseptic Silver Alloy-Coated Silicone Urinary Catheters seems to be a promising intervention to reduce UTIs; however, actual evidence cannot be extrapolated to spinal cord injured patients. The aim of this trial is to make a comparison between the use of antiseptic silver alloy-coated silicone urinary catheters and the use of standard urinary catheters in spinal cord injured patients to prevent UTIs.
Methods/Design
The study will consist in an open, randomized, multicentre, and parallel clinical trial with blinded assessment. The study will include 742 spinal cord injured patients who require at least seven days of urethral catheterization as a method of bladder voiding. Participants will be online centrally randomized and allocated to one of the two study arms (silver alloy-coated or standard catheters). Catheters will be used for a maximum period of 30 days or removed earlier if the clinician considers it necessary. The main outcome will be the incidence of UTIs by the time of catheter removal or at day 30 after catheterization, the event that occurs first. Intention-to-treat analysis will be performed, as well as a primary analysis of all patients.
Discussion
The aim of this study is to assess whether silver alloy-coated silicone urinary catheters improve ITUs in spinal cord injured patients. ESCALE is intended to be the first study to evaluate the efficacy of the silver alloy-coated catheters in spinal cord injured patients.
Trial registration
NCT01803919
doi:10.1186/1471-2490-13-38
PMCID: PMC3735409  PMID: 23895463
Spinal cord injuries; Urinary tract infection; Urinary catheters; Protocol; Randomized clinical trial
8.  Invasive carcinoma of urinary bladder in a patient with a spinal cord injury with non-functioning Brindley sacral anterior root stimulator: a case report 
Cases Journal  2008;1:137.
Background
Anterior sacral root stimulation combined with sacral posterior rhizotomy restores bladder function in spinal cord-injured patients suffering from hyperactive bladder. After successful implantation of bladder stimulator, urinary infection rate decreases, and patients are able to get rid of indwelling urinary catheters, which in turn reduce the risks for vesical malignancy. We present a spinal cord injury patient with non-functioning Brindley sacral anterior root stimulator, who developed carcinoma of urinary bladder.
Case presentation
A Caucasian male, who was born in 1943, sustained paraplegia at T-4 (ASIA-B) in 1981. This patient underwent implantation of sacral anterior root stimulator in September 1985. The bladder stimulator started giving trouble since 1996 and the patient went back to using indwelling urethral catheter. In August 2006, this patient passed blood in urine after a routine change of indwelling catheter. Cystoscopy showed unhealthy bladder mucosa. Bladder biopsy revealed carcinoma, which was infiltrating bundles of muscularis propria. Many of the nests showed evidence of squamous differentiation, while others could be transitional or squamous. This patient underwent cystectomy with lymphadenectomy in March 2007 in a hospital nearer his home. Histology showed three nodes involved. This patient has been doing well since the operation.
Conclusion
Occurrence of vesical malignancy in this patient with non-functioning bladder stimulator is a timely reminder to all health professionals, and health care managers that concerted efforts should be made to rectify a non-functioning sacral anterior root stimulator as soon as possible. Otherwise, facilities should be made available in the community for the spinal cord injury patient to use intermittent catheterisation and thereby, avoid permanent indwelling catheter, vesical calculi and urine infections, which are risk factors for bladder cancer.
doi:10.1186/1757-1626-1-137
PMCID: PMC2546370  PMID: 18761737
9.  Failure of Urological Implants in Spinal Cord Injury Patients due to Infection, Malfunction, and Implants Becoming Obsolete due to Medical Progress and Age-Related Changes in Human Body Making Implant Futile: Report of Three Cases 
Case Reports in Urology  2013;2013:826748.
Any new clinical data, whether positive or negative, generated about a medical device should be published because health professionals should know which devices do not work, as well as those which do. We report three spinal cord injury patients in whom urological implants failed to work. In the first, paraplegic, patient, a sacral anterior root stimulator failed to produce erection, and a drug delivery system for intracavernosal administration of vasoactive drugs was therefore implanted; however, this implant never functioned (and, furthermore, such penile drug delivery systems to produce erection had effectively become obsolete following the advent of phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors). Subsequently, the sacral anterior root stimulator developed a malfunction and the patient therefore learned to perform self-catheterisation. In the second patient, also paraplegic, an artificial urinary sphincter was implanted but the patient developed a postoperative sacral pressure sore. Eight months later, a suprapubic cystostomy was performed as urethral catheterisation was very difficult. The pressure sore had not healed completely even after five years. In the third case, a sacral anterior root stimulator was implanted in a tetraplegic patient in whom, after five years, a penile sheath could not be fitted because of penile retraction. This patient was therefore established on urethral catheter drainage. Later, infection with Staphylococcus aureus around the receiver block necessitated its removal. In conclusion, spinal cord injury patients are at risk of developing pressure sores, wound infections, malfunction of implants, and the inability to use implants because of age-related changes, as well as running the risk of their implants becoming obsolete due to advances in medicine. Some surgical procedures such as dorsal rhizotomy are irreversible. Alternative treatments such as intermittent catheterisations may be less damaging than bladder stimulator in the long term.
doi:10.1155/2013/826748
PMCID: PMC3705782  PMID: 23864980
10.  Bladder management methods and urological complications in spinal cord injury patients 
Indian Journal of Orthopaedics  2011;45(2):141-147.
Background:
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.
Results:
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.
Conclusions:
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.
doi:10.4103/0019-5413.77134
PMCID: PMC3051121  PMID: 21430869
Spinal cord injury; urinary bladder; clean intermittent catheterization; urological complications; indwelling catheterization
11.  Use of open-ended Foley catheter to treat profuse urine leakage around suprapubic catheter in a female patient with spina bifida who had undergone closure of urethra and suprapubic cystostomy: a case report 
Cases Journal  2009;2:6851.
Introduction
Leakage of urine around a catheter is not uncommon in spinal cord injury patients, who have indwelling urethral catheter. Aetiological factors for leakage of urine around a catheter are bladder spasms, partial blockage of catheter, constipation, and urine infection. Usually, leakage of urine subsides when the underlying cause is treated. Leakage of urine around a suprapubic catheter is very rare and occurs in patients, in whom the urethra is closed due to severe stricture or previous surgery.
Case presentation
We describe a 35-year-old female patient with spina bifida and paraplegia, who had undergone suprapubic cystotomy followed by urethral closure for leakage of urine per urethra. She developed leakage of urine around suprapubic Foley catheter, which did not subside even after changing the catheter, ruling out vesical calculus, and ensuring that there was no kink in catheter or drainage tube. As a desperate measure, we punched a large hole at the tip of a Foley catheter and used this catheter for suprapubic drainage. Leakage of urine around suprapubic catheter stopped and the patient was greatly relieved.
Conclusion
Leakage of urine around a catheter requires prompt attention in spinal cord injury patients; otherwise patients can develop maceration of neuropathic skin and pressure sore. Management of spinal cord injury patients with leakage of urine around a suprapubic catheter should include (i) changing the catheter, (ii) prescribing anticholinergic drugs to control bladder spasm, (iii) treating constipation and urine infection when present, (iv) imaging studies or flexible cystoscopy to look for vesical calculus. If leakage of urine persists despite all these measures, use of a modified Foley catheter in which, a large hole has been made at the tip, is worth trying.
doi:10.4076/1757-1626-2-6851
PMCID: PMC2740262  PMID: 19829871
12.  A Bacterial Interference Strategy for Prevention of UTI in Persons Practicing Intermittent Catheterization 
Spinal cord  2009;47(7):565-569.
Study Design
Non-randomized pilot trial
Objectives
Determine whether Escherichia coli 83972-coated urinary catheters in persons with spinal cord injury (SCI) practicing an intermittent catheterization program (ICP) could (1) achieve bladder colonization with this benign organism, and (2) decrease the rate of symptomatic urinary tract infection (UTI).
Setting
Outpatient SCI clinic in a Veterans Affairs hospital (USA)
Methods
Participants had neurogenic bladders secondary to SCI, were practicing ICP, had experienced at least 1 UTI, and had documented bacteruria within the past year. All subjects received a urinary catheter that had been pre-inoculated with E. coli 83972. The catheter was left in place for 3 days then removed. Subjects were followed with urine cultures and telephone calls weekly for 28 days and then monthly until E. coli 83972 was lost from the urine. Outcome measures were (1) the rate of successful bladder colonization, defined as the detection (≥102 cfu/ml) of E. coli 83972 in urine cultures for > 3 days after catheter removal and (2) the rate of symptomatic UTI while colonized with E. coli 83972.
Results
Thirteen subjects underwent 19 insertions of study catheters. Eight subjects (62%) became successfully colonized for > 3 days after catheter removal. In these 8 subjects, the rate of UTI while colonized was 0.77 per patient-year, in comparison to the rate of 2.27 UTI per patient-year prior to enrollment.
Conclusions
E. coli 83972-coated urinary catheters are a viable means to achieve bladder colonization with this potentially protective strain in persons practicing ICP.
doi:10.1038/sc.2008.166
PMCID: PMC2705471  PMID: 19139758
urinary tract infection; spinal cord injury; Escherichia coli
13.  The Prevalence, Etiologic Agents and Risk Factors for Urinary Tract Infection Among Spinal Cord Injury Patients 
Background:
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are important causes of morbidity and mortality in patients with spinal cord injury and 22% of patients with acute spinal cord injury develop UTI during the first 50 days.
Objectives:
The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence, etiologic agents and risk factors for asymptomatic bacteriuria and symptomatic urinary tract infections in patients with spinal cord injury.
Patients and Methods:
This was a prospective investigation of spinal cord injury patients with asymptomatic bacteriuria and symptomatic urinary tract infections in Baskent University Medical Faculty Ayas Rehabilitation Center and Ankara Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Center between January 2008 and December 2010. The demographic status, clinical and laboratory findings of 93 patients with spinal cord injury were analyzed in order to determine the risk factors for asymptomatic or symptomatic bacteriuria
Results:
Sixty three (67.7%) of 93 patients had asymptomatic bacteriuria and 21 (22.6%) had symptomatic urinary tract infection. Assessment of the frequency of urinary bladder emptying methods revealed that 57 (61.3%) of 93 patients employed permanent catheters and 24 (25.8%) employed clean intermittent catheterization. One hundred and thirty-five (48.0%) of 281 strains isolated form asymptomatic bacteriuria attacks and 16 (66.6%) of 24 strains isolated from symptomatic urinary tract infection attacks, totaling 151 strains, had multidrug resistance (P > 0.05). One hundred (70.4%) of 142 Escherichia coli strains and 19 (34.5%) of 55 Klebsiella spp strains proliferated in patients with asymptomatic bacteriuria; 8 (80%) of 10 E. coli strains and 4 (80%) of 5 Klebsiella spp. strains were multidrug resistant.
Conclusions:
The most common infectious episode among spinal cord injury patients was found to be urinary tract ınfection. E. coli was the most common microorganism isolated from urine samples. Antibiotic use in the previous 2 weeks or 3 months, hospitalization during the last one-year and previous diagnosis of urinary tract ınfection were the risk factors identified for the development of infections with multi-drug resistant isolates. Urinary catheterization was found to be the only independent risk factor contributing to symptomatic urinary tract infection.
doi:10.5812/jjm.8905
PMCID: PMC4138667  PMID: 25147663
Urinary Tract Infections; Spinal Cord Injury; Asymptomatic Bacteriuria; Symptomatic Bacteriuria
14.  Substandard urological care of elderly patients with spinal cord injury: an unrecognized epidemic? 
Background
We report the anecdotal observation of substandard urological care of elderly paraplegic patients in the community suffering from long-term sequelae of spinal cord injuries. This article is designed to increase awareness of a problem that is likely underreported and may represent the ‘tip of the iceberg’ related to substandard care provided to the vulnerable population of elderly patients with chronic neurological impairment.
Findings
A registered Nurse changed the urethral catheter of an 80-year-old-male with paraplegia; patient developed profuse urethral bleeding and septicaemia. Ultrasound revealed balloon of Foley catheter located in membranous urethra. Flexible cystoscopy was performed and a catheter was inserted over a guide wire. Urethral bleeding recurred 12 days later. This patient was discharged after protracted stay in spinal unit. A nurse changed urethral catheter in an 82-year-old male with paraplegia. The catheter did not drain urine; patient developed pain in lower abdomen. The balloon of Foley catheter was visible behind the urethral meatus, which indicated that the balloon had been inflated in penile urethra. The catheter was removed and a 16 French Foley catheter was inserted per urethra. About 1300 ml of urine was drained. A 91-year-old lady with paraplegia underwent routine ultrasound examination of urinary tract by a Consultant Radiologist, who reported a 4 cm × 3 cm soft tissue mass in the urinary bladder. Cystoscopy was performed without anaesthesia in lithotomy position. Cystoscopy revealed normal bladder mucosa; no stones; no tumour. Following cystoscopy, the right knee became swollen and there was deformity of lower third of right thigh. X-ray revealed fracture of lower third of right femur. Femoral fracture was treated by immobilisation in full plaster cast. Follow-up ultrasound examination of urinary tract, performed by a senior Radiologist, revealed normal outline of urinary bladder with no tumour or calculus.
Conclusion
The adverse outcomes can be averted if elderly spinal cord injury patients are treated by senior, experienced health professionals, who are familiar with changes in body systems due to old age, compounded further by spinal cord injury.
doi:10.1186/1754-9493-8-4
PMCID: PMC3899400  PMID: 24447309
Spinal cord injury; Elderly patients; Substandard care
15.  Integrated next-generation sequencing of 16S rDNA and metaproteomics differentiate the healthy urine microbiome from asymptomatic bacteriuria in neuropathic bladder associated with spinal cord injury 
Background
Clinical dogma is that healthy urine is sterile and the presence of bacteria with an inflammatory response is indicative of urinary tract infection (UTI). Asymptomatic bacteriuria (ABU) represents the state in which bacteria are present but the inflammatory response is negligible. Differentiating ABU from UTI is diagnostically challenging, but critical because overtreatment of ABU can perpetuate antimicrobial resistance while undertreatment of UTI can result in increased morbidity and mortality. In this study, we describe key characteristics of the healthy and ABU urine microbiomes utilizing 16S rRNA gene (16S rDNA) sequencing and metaproteomics, with the future goal of utilizing this information to personalize the treatment of UTI based on key individual characteristics.
Methods
A cross-sectional study of 26 healthy controls and 27 healthy subjects at risk for ABU due to spinal cord injury-related neuropathic bladder (NB) was conducted. Of the 27 subjects with NB, 8 voided normally, 8 utilized intermittent catheterization, and 11 utilized indwelling Foley urethral catheterization for bladder drainage. Urine was obtained by clean catch in voiders, or directly from the catheter in subjects utilizing catheters. Urinalysis, urine culture and 16S rDNA sequencing were performed on all samples, with metaproteomic analysis performed on a subsample.
Results
A total of 589454 quality-filtered 16S rDNA sequence reads were processed through a NextGen 16S rDNA analysis pipeline. Urine microbiomes differ by normal bladder function vs. NB, gender, type of bladder catheter utilized, and duration of NB. The top ten bacterial taxa showing the most relative abundance and change among samples were Lactobacillales, Enterobacteriales, Actinomycetales, Bacillales, Clostridiales, Bacteroidales, Burkholderiales, Pseudomonadales, Bifidobacteriales and Coriobacteriales. Metaproteomics confirmed the 16S rDNA results, and functional human protein-pathogen interactions were noted in subjects where host defenses were initiated.
Conclusions
Counter to clinical belief, healthy urine is not sterile. The healthy urine microbiome is characterized by a preponderance of Lactobacillales in women and Corynebacterium in men. The presence and duration of NB and method of urinary catheterization alter the healthy urine microbiome. An integrated approach of 16S rDNA sequencing with metaproteomics improves our understanding of healthy urine and facilitates a more personalized approach to prevention and treatment of infection.
doi:10.1186/1479-5876-10-174
PMCID: PMC3511201  PMID: 22929533
Bacteriuria; Urine; Catheter; Neuropathic; Bladder; Microbiome; Metaproteome; Next-generation; Personalized; rRNA
16.  Semiconditional Electrical Stimulation of Pudendal Nerve Afferents Stimulation to Manage Neurogenic Detrusor Overactivity in Patients with Spinal Cord Injury 
Annals of Rehabilitation Medicine  2011;35(5):605-612.
Objective
To evaluate the effect of semiconditional electrical stimulation of the pudendal nerve afferents for the neurogenic detrusor overactivity in patients with spinal cord injury. Forty patients (36 males, 4 males) with spinal cord injury who had urinary incontinence and frequency, as well as felt bladder contraction with bladder filling sense or autonomic dysreflexic symptom participated in this study.
Method
Patients with neurogenic detrusor overactivity were subdivided into complete injury and incomplete injury groups by ASIA classification and subdivided into tetraplegia and paraplegia groups by neurologic level of injury. Bladder function, such as bladder volumes infused to the bladder until the first occurrence of neurogenic detrusor overactivity (Vini) and the last contraction suppressed by electrical stimulation (Vmax) was measured by water cystometry (CMG) and compared with the results of each subgroup.
Results
Among the 40 subjects, 35 patients showed neurogenic detrusor overactivity in the CMG study. Among these 35 patients, detrusor overactivity was suppressed effectively by pudendal nerve afferent electrical stimulation in 32 patients. The infusion volume until the occurrence of the first reflex contraction (Vini) was 99.4±80.3 ml. The volume of saline infused to the bladder until the last contraction suppressed by semiconditional pudendal nerve stimulation (Vmax) was 274.3±93.2 ml, which was significantly greater than Vini. In patients with good response to the pudendal nerve afferent stimulation, the bladder volume significantly increased by stimulation in all the patients.
Conclusion
In this study, semiconditional electrical stimulation on the dorsal penile afferent nerve could effectively inhibit neurogenic detrusor overactivity and increase bladder volume in patients with spinal cord injury.
doi:10.5535/arm.2011.35.5.605
PMCID: PMC3309249  PMID: 22506182
Spinal cord injuries; Detrusor overactivity; Pudendal nerve; Electrical stimulation
17.  Problems in early diagnosis of bladder cancer in a spinal cord injury patient: Report of a case of simultaneous production of granulocyte colony stimulating factor and parathyroid hormone-related protein by squamous cell carcinoma of urinary bladder 
BMC Urology  2002;2:8.
Background
Typical symptoms and signs of a clinical condition may be absent in spinal cord injury (SCI) patients.
Case presentation
A male with paraplegia was passing urine through penile sheath for 35 years, when he developed urinary infections. There was no history of haematuria. Intravenous urography showed bilateral hydronephrosis. The significance of abnormal outline of bladder was not appreciated. As there was large residual urine, he was advised intermittent catheterisation. Serum urea: 3.5 mmol/L; creatinine: 77 umol/L. A year later, serum urea: 36.8 mmol/l; creatinine: 632 umol/l; white cell count: 22.2; neutrophils: 18.88. Ultrasound: bilateral hydronephrosis. Bilateral nephrostomy was performed. Subsequently, blood tests showed: Urea: 14.2 mmol/l; Creatinine: 251 umol/l; Adjusted Calcium: 3.28 mmol/l; Parathyroid hormone: < 0.7 pmol/l (1.1 – 6.9); Parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP): 2.3 pmol/l (0.7 – 1.8). Ultrasound scan of urinary bladder showed mixed echogenicity, which was diagnosed as debris. CT of pelvis was interpreted as vesical abscess. Urine cytology: Transitional cells showing mild atypia. Bladder biopsy: Inflamed mucosa lined by normal urothelial cells.
A repeat ultrasound scan demonstrated a tumour arising from right lateral wall; biopsy revealed squamous cell carcinoma. In view of persistently high white cell count and high calcium level, immunohistochemistry for G-CSF and PTHrP was performed. Dense staining of tumour cells for G-CSF and faintly positive staining for C-terminal PTHrP were observed. This patient expired about five months later.
Conclusion
This case demonstrates how delay in diagnosis of bladder cancer could occur in a SCI patient due to absence of characteristic symptoms and signs.
doi:10.1186/1471-2490-2-8
PMCID: PMC126229  PMID: 12201902
18.  Fatal Renal Failure in a Spinal Cord Injury Patient with Vesicoureteric Reflux Who Underwent Repeated Ureteric Reimplantations Unsuccessfully: Treatment Should Focus on Abolition of High Intravesical Pressures rather than Surgical Correction of Reflux 
Case Reports in Urology  2012;2012:603715.
A 29-year-old man developed paraplegia at T-10 level due to road traffic accident in 1972. Both kidneys were normal and showed good function on intravenous urography. Division of external urethral sphincter was performed in 1973. In 1974, cystogram showed retrograde filling of left renal tract, which was hydronephrotic. Left ureteric reimplantation was performed. Following surgery, cystogram revealed marked retrograde filling of left renal tract as before. Penile sheath drainage was continued. In 1981, intravenous urography revealed bilateral severe hydronephrosis. Left ureteric reimplantation was performed again in 1983. Blood pressure was 220/140 mm Hg; this patient was prescribed atenolol. Cystogram showed gross left vesicoureteral reflux. Intermittent catheterisation was commenced in 2001. In 2007, proteinuria was 860 mg/day. This patient developed progressive renal failure and expired in 2012. In a spinal cord injury patient with vesicoureteral reflux, the treatment should focus on abolition of high intravesical pressures rather than surgical correction of vesicoureteric reflux. Detrusor hyperactivity and high intravesical pressures are the basic causes for vesicoureteral reflux in spinal cord injury patients. Therefore, it is important to manage spinal cord injury patients with neuropathic bladder by intermittent catheterisations along with antimuscarinic drug therapy in order to abolish high detrusor pressures and prevent vesicoureteral reflux. Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors or angiotensin-receptor-blocking agents should be prescribed even in the absence of hypertension when a spinal cord injury patient develops vesicoureteral reflux and proteinuria.
doi:10.1155/2012/603715
PMCID: PMC3595704  PMID: 23509659
19.  Incomplete renal tubular acidosis as a predisposing factor for calcium phosphate stones in neuropathic bladder: a case report 
Cases Journal  2008;1:318.
We present a male tetraplegic patient, who developed stones in neuropathic bladder six times within a span of three years. Unusual features of this case are: (1) This patient started developing stones in urinary bladder thirteen years after sustaining spinal cord injury. (2) He was performing intermittent catheterisation and did not have an indwelling catheter. (3) The presenting symptom of vesical lithiasis was abdominal spasms and not urine infection. (4) The major component of the stones was calcium phosphate; magnesium ammonium phosphate was completely absent in the calculus on four occasions. (5) Proteus species were not grown from urine at any time. (6) This patient failed to acidify urine below a pH of 5.3 after taking simultaneously furosemide (40 mg) and fludrocortrisone (1 mg), which suggested incomplete renal tubular acidosis type 1.
We learn from this case that biochemical analysis of stones removed from urinary bladder may be useful. If the major component of vesical calculus is calcium phosphate, complete or incomplete renal tubular acidosis type 1 should be excluded, as it may be possible to reduce the risk of recurrence of calcium phosphate stones by oral potassium citrate therapy or, vegetable and fruit rich diet.
doi:10.1186/1757-1626-1-318
PMCID: PMC2600789  PMID: 19014688
20.  Outcomes of Urinary Diversion in Children With Spinal Cord Injuries 
The Journal of Spinal Cord Medicine  2007;30(Suppl 1):S41-S47.
Purpose:
To gain a better understanding of the outcomes of the Mitrofanoff procedure for urinary diversion in children with spinal cord injury (SCI).
Design:
Descriptive retrospective.
Participants/Methods:
Individuals 6 to 27 years of age with SCI with at least 1 year follow-up after the Mitrofanoff procedure. Objective data collected via retrospective chart review include general demographics and medical/surgical history. Data collected via structured telephone interview include history of adverse urological events, bladder management, bladder management independence scores, patient satisfaction, and quality of life.
Results:
Sixteen subjects (13 female, 3 male) with a mean age of 19 years (range 6–27 y) who underwent the Mitrofanoff procedure were interviewed. Length of postoperative follow-up ranged from 1 to 8 years (mean 4.25 y). Complications included stomal stenosis 25% (n = 4) with a mean of 19 months to first occurrence of stenosis; urethral incontinence 75% (n = 12); renal/bladder calculi 19% (n = 3); and stomal leakage 44% (n = 7). Independence scores for bladder management after the Mitrofanoff procedure improved in 84% of subjects with tetraplegia and 25% of subjects with paraplegia. Eighty-eight percent (n = 14) were satisfied with the procedure, while 12% (n = 2) were somewhat satisfied. A thematic analysis of quality of life revealed that freedom (35%) and independence (35%) were most commonly cited.
Conclusion:
While some subjects experienced complications, satisfaction was relatively high and level of independence in bladder management was greatly improved. This study demonstrates that the Mitrofanoff procedure is a beneficial option to improve independence and ease of bladder management in children with SCI.
PMCID: PMC2031994  PMID: 17874686
Spinal cord injuries; Spina bifida; Neurogenic bladder; Mitrofanoff procedure (appendico vescicostomy); Urinary diversion; Vesicosphincteric dyssynergy; Tetraplegia; Paraplegia
21.  Localised necrosis of scrotum (Fournier's gangrene) in a spinal cord injury patient – a case report 
BMC Family Practice  2002;3:20.
Background
Men with spinal cord injury (SCI) appear to have a greater incidence of bacterial colonisation of genital skin as compared to neurologically normal controls. We report a male patient with paraplegia who developed rapidly progressive infection of scrotal skin, which resulted in localised necrosis of scrotum (Fournier's gangrene).
Case presentation
This male patient developed paraplegia at T-8 level 21 years ago at the age of fifteen years. He has been managing his bladder by wearing a penile sheath. He noticed redness and swelling on the right side of the scrotum, which rapidly progressed to become a black patch. A wound swab yielded growth of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Necrotic tissue was excised. Culture of excised tissue grew MRSA. A follow-up wound swab yielded growth of MRSA and mixed anaerobes. The wound was treated with regular application of povidone-iodine spray. He made good progress, with the wound healing gradually.
Conclusion
It is likely that the presence of a condom catheter, increased skin moisture in the scrotum due to urine leakage, compromised personal hygiene, a neurogenic bowel and subtle dysfunction of the immune system contributed to colonisation, and then rapidly progressive infection in this patient. We believe that spinal cord injury patients and their carers should be made aware of possible increased susceptibility of SCI patients to opportunistic infections of the skin. Increased awareness will facilitate prompt recourse to medical advice, when early signs of infection are present.
doi:10.1186/1471-2296-3-20
PMCID: PMC138815  PMID: 12466026
22.  Marked hydronephrosis and hydroureter after distigmine therapy in an adult male patient with paraplegia due to spinal cord injury: a case report 
Cases Journal  2009;2:7333.
Introduction
Distigmine, a long-acting anti-cholinesterase, is associated with side effects such as Parkinsonism, cholinergic crisis, and rhabdomyolysis. We report a spinal cord injury patient, who developed marked hydronephrosis and hydroureter after distigmine therapy, which led to a series of complications over subsequent years.
Case presentation
A 38-year-old male developed T-9 paraplegia in 1989. Intravenous urography, performed in 1989, showed normal kidneys, ureters and bladder. He was prescribed distigmine bromide orally and was allowed to pass urine spontaneously. In 1992, intravenous urography showed bilateral marked hydronephrosis and hydroureter. Distigmine was discontinued. He continued to pass urine spontaneously.
In 2006, intravenous urography showed moderate dilatation of both pelvicalyceal systems and ureters down to the level of urinary bladder. This patient was performing self-catheterisation only once a day. He was advised to do catheterisations at least three times a day. In December 2008, this patient developed haematuriawhich lasted for nearly four months.. He received trimethoprim, then cephalexin, followed by Macrodantin, amoxicillin and ciprofloxacin. In February 2009, intravenous urography showed calculus at the lower pole of left kidney. Both kidneys were moderately hydronephrotic. Ureters were dilated down to the bladder. Dilute contrast was seen in the bladder due to residual urine. This patient was advised to perform six catheterisations a day, and take propiverine hydrochloride 15 mg, three times a day. Microbiology of urine showed Klebsiella oxytoca, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Enterococcus faecalis. Cystoscopy revealed papillary lesions in bladder neck and trigone. Transurethral resection was performed. Histology showed marked chronic cystitis including follicular cystitis and papillary/polypoid cystitis. There was no evidence of malignancy.
Conclusion
Distigmine therapy resulted in marked bilateral hydronephrosis and hydroureter. Persistence of hydronephrosis after omitting distigmine, and presence of residual urine in bladder over many years probably predisposed to formation of polypoid cystitis and follicular cystitis, and contributed to prolonged haematuria, which occurred after an episode of urine infection. This case illustrates the dangers of prescribing distigmine to promote spontaneous voiding in spinal cord injury patients. Instead of using distigmine, spinal cord injury patients should be advised to consider intermittent catheterisation together with oxybutynin or propiverine to achieve complete, low-pressure emptying of urinary bladder.
doi:10.4076/1757-1626-2-7333
PMCID: PMC2769349  PMID: 19918519
23.  Accuracy of Predicting Bladder Stones Based on Catheter Encrustation in Individuals With Spinal Cord Injury 
Background:
Bladder calculi are the second most common urological complication in those with spinal cord injury (SCI). Detection and removal of bladder stones are important to prevent possible complications.
Objective:
To determine the accuracy of bladder stone detection based on catheter encrustation in asymptomatic individuals with SCI.
Design:
Prospective cohort study.
Methods:
Cystoscopy findings in persons with SCI who were noted to have catheter encrustation at the time of catheter removal for their scheduled cystoscopy were used in this prospective study. Indwelling catheters were examined for encrustation at the time of removal as they were being prepared for cystoscopy. Cystoscopy was performed, and the presence or absence of bladder stones was noted.
Main Outcome Measures:
Presence or absence of bladder stones detected with cystoscopy in those with precystoscopy catheter encrustation.
Results:
Forty-nine individuals with indwelling catheters were evaluated. Overall, 17/49 (35%) individuals in this study had bladder stones. Catheter encrustation was noted in 13 patients. Of these 13 patients, 11 also had bladder stones. In other words, a positive result for catheter encrustation had a positive result for bladder stones 85% of the time. Thirty-six individuals had no catheter encrustation. Of these, 6 (16%) were found to have bladder stones.
Conclusions:
Encrustation of a catheter is highly predictive of the presence of bladder stones. This suggests that cystoscopy should be scheduled in a person undergoing a catheter change if catheter encrustation is noted.
PMCID: PMC1864852  PMID: 17044391
Spinal cord injuries; Neurogenic bladder; Bladder stones; Cystoscopy; Urethral catheter; Suprapubic catheter
24.  Fever During Rehabilitation in Patients With Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury: Analysis of 392 Cases From a National Rehabilitation Hospital in Turkey 
Objective:
To determine the incidence and etiology of fever and the risk factors related to fever in adults with spinal cord injury (SCI) at the rehabilitation stage.
Design/Subjects:
A retrospective examination of records of 392 consecutive adult patients with traumatic SCI who received inpatient rehabilitation program.
Setting:
A national rehabilitation center in Turkey.
Outcome Measures:
Incidence and etiology of fever, period of hospitalization (days).
Results:
A total of 187 patients (47.7%) had fever at least once during their rehabilitation program. The most common etiology was urinary tract infection. The rate of fever occurrence was significantly higher in patients with complete SCI (P  =  0.001). In patients with fever, the use of an indwelling catheter was significantly higher compared with clean intermittent catheterization and spontaneous voiding (P  =  0.001). The hospitalization period of patients with fever was significantly longer than that of patients without fever (P  =  0.006).
Conclusions:
A high rate of fever was seen in patients with SCI during rehabilitation. Fever was caused by various infections, of which urinary tract infection was the most common. Patients with motor complete injuries and those with permanent catheters constituted higher risk groups. Fever prolonged the length of rehabilitation stay and hindered active participation in the rehabilitation program.
PMCID: PMC2920117  PMID: 20737797
Spinal cord injuries, complete, incomplete; Fever, etiology; Rehabilitation, physical; Urinary tract infection; Bladder management
25.  Hydrophilic Catheters 
Executive Summary
Objective
To review the evidence on the effectiveness of hydrophilic catheters for patients requiring intermittent catheterization.
Clinical Need
There are various reasons why a person would require catheterization, including surgery, urinary retention due to enlargement of the prostate, spinal cord injuries, or other physical disabilities. Urethral catheters are the most prevalent cause of nosocomial urinary tract infections, that is, those that start or occur in a hospital.
A urinary tract infection (UTI) occurs when bacteria adheres to the opening of the urethra. Most infections arise from Escherichia coli, from the colon. The bacteria spread into the bladder, resulting in the development of an infection.
The prevalence of UTIs varies with age and sex. There is a tenfold increase in incidence for females compared with males in childhood and throughout adult life until around 55 years, when the incidence of UTIs in men and women is equal, mostly as a consequence of prostatic problems in men. Investigators have reported that urethritis (inflammation of the urethra) is found in 2% to 19% of patients practising intermittent catheterization.
The Technology
Hydrophilic catheters have a polymer coating that binds o the surface of the catheter. When the polymer coating is submersed in water, it absorbs and binds the water to the catheter. The catheter surface becomes smooth and very slippery. This slippery surface remains intact upon insertion into the urethra and maintains lubrication through the length of the urethra. The hydrophilic coating is designed to reduce the friction, as the catheter is inserted with the intention of reducing the risk of urethral damage.
It has been suggested that because the hydrophilic catheters do not require manual lubrication they are more sterile and thus less likely to cause infection. Most hydrophilic catheters are prepackaged in sterile water, or there is a pouch of sterile water that is broken and released into the catheter package when the catheter is ready to use.
Review Strategy
The Medical Advisory Secretariat searched for reports of systematic reviews of randomized controlled trials (RCTs), meta-analyses of RCTs, and RCTs. The following databases were searched: Cochrane Library International Agency for Health Technology Assessment (fourth quarter 2005), Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (fourth quarter 2005), Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (fourth quarter 2005), MEDLINE (1966 to the third week of November 2005), MEDLINE In-Process and Other Non-indexed Citations (1966 to November 2005), and EMBASE (1980 to week 49 in 2005). Search terms were urinary catheterization, hydrophilic, intermittent, and bladder catheter.
The Medical Advisory Secretariat also conducted Internet searches of Medscape (www.medscape.com) for recent reports on trials that were unpublished but presented at international conferences. In addition, the Web site Current Controlled Trials (www.controlled-trials.com) was searched for ongoing trials on urinary catheterization.
Summary of Findings
Five RCTs were identified that compared hydrophilic catheters to standard catheters. There was substantial variation across the studies in terms of the reason for catheterization, inclusion criteria, and type of catheter used. Two studies used reusable catheters in the control arm, while the other 3 RCTs used single-use catheters in the control arm. All 5 RCTs focused mainly on males requiring intermittent catheterization. Age varied considerably across studies. One study consisted of young males (mean age 12 years), while another included older males (mean age 71 years).
The RCTs reported conflicting results regarding the effectiveness of the hydrophilic catheters compared with standard catheters in terms of rates of UTIs. All 5 RCTs had serious limitations. Two of the studies were small, and likely underpowered to detect significant differences between groups. One RCT reported 12-month follow-up data for all 123 patients even though more than one-half of the patients had dropped out of the study by 12 months. Another RCT had unequal groups at baseline: the patients in the hydrophilic group had twice the mean number of UTIs at baseline compared with the standard catheter group. The fifth RCT used catheters to treat patients with bladder cancer; therefore, the results of their study are not generalizable to the population requiring intermittent catheterization.
Two studies did not find significant differences between the hydrophilic and standard catheter groups for patient satisfaction. Another RCT reported conflicting results; however, the overall opinion of the catheters was not significantly different between the treatment groups. A fourth RCT found that the hydrophilic catheters were substantially more comfortable than standard catheters. The fifth RCT did not report results for quality of life or patient satisfaction. Similar to the results for effectiveness, it is not possible to clearly establish if there is a significant difference in patient satisfaction between the patients using hydrophilic catheters and those using standard catheters.
Conclusions
Patients requiring intermittent catheterization use, on average, 4 to 5 intermittent catheters per day. Patients admitted to hospitals using intermittent catheters typically do not reuse catheters, owing to the potential increased risk of infection in hospital. Patients self-catheterizing at home are more likely to reuse catheters. Standard catheters cost about $1.00 to $1.50/catheter. Hydrophilic catheters cost about $2.00 to $5.00/catheter, depending on the type and whether they have antibiotics inside. All hydrophilic catheters are single-use.
At this time there is insufficient evidence to indicate whether hydrophilic catheters are associated with a lower rate of UTIs and improved patient satisfaction among people requiring intermittent catheterization.
PMCID: PMC3386556  PMID: 23074500

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