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1.  Unpredicted spontaneous extrusion of a renal calculus in an adult male with spina bifida and paraplegia: report of a misdiagnosis. Measures to be taken to reduce urological errors in spinal cord injury patients 
BMC Urology  2001;1:3.
Background
A delay in diagnosis or a misdiagnosis may occur in patients with spinal cord injury (SCI) or spinal bifida as typical symptoms of a clinical condition may be absent because of their neurological impairment.
Case presentation
A 29-year old male, who was born with spina bifida and hydrocephalus, became unwell and developed a swelling and large red mark in his left loin eighteen months ago. Pyonephrosis or perinephric abscess was suspected. X-ray of the abdomen showed left-sided staghorn calculus. Since ultrasound scan showed no features of pyonephrosis or perinephric abscess, he was prescribed a prolonged course of antibiotics for infection presumed to arise from the site of metal implant in spine. He developed a discharging sinus, following which the loin swelling and red mark subsided. About three months ago, he again developed a red mark and minimal swelling in the left loin. Ultrasound scan detected no abnormality in the renal or perinephric region. Therefore, the red mark and swelling were attributed to pressure from the backrest of his chair. Five weeks later, the swelling in the left loin burst open and a large stone was extruded spontaneously. An X-ray of the abdomen showed that he had extruded the central portion of the staghorn calculus from left kidney. With hindsight, the extruded renal calculus could be seen lying in the subcutaneous tissue of left loin lateral to the 10th rib in the X-ray of abdomen, which was taken when he presented with red mark and minimal swelling.
Conclusion
This case illustrates how mistakes in diagnosis could occur in spinal cord injury patients, and highlights the need for corrective measures to reduce urological errors in these patients. Voluntary reporting of urological errors is recommended to facilitate learning from our mistakes. In the patients who have marked spinal curvature, ultrasonography of kidneys and perinephric region may not be entirely reliable. As clinical symptoms and signs may be non-specific in SCI patients, they require prompt, detailed and occasionally, repeated investigations. A joint team approach by health professionals belonging to various medical disciplines, which is strengthened by frequent, informal and honest discussions of a patient's clinical condition, is likely to reduce urological errors in SCI patients.
doi:10.1186/1471-2490-1-3
PMCID: PMC64578  PMID: 11801198
2.  Protocol of a prospective cohort study of the effect of different methods of drainage of neuropathic bladder on occurrence of symptomatic urinary infection, and adverse events related to the urinary drainage system in spinal cord injury patients 
BMC Urology  2001;1:2.
Background
To present a protocol of a prospective, cohort study in which four groups of spinal cord injury (SCI) patients will participate. (Patients with indwelling urethral catheter; patients who perform intermittent catheterisation without wearing a penile sheath; patients who perform intermittent catheterisation and wear penile sheath as well; and patients with penile sheath drainage).
Objectives
(1) What is the incidence of symptomatic urinary infection in men with spinal cord injury who use different types of bladder drainage? (2) Which are predisposing factors for the occurrence of symptomatic urinary infection in men with spinal cord injury who practise different methods of bladder drainage? (3) What is the incidence of catheter and urinary drainage system-related adverse events in the four groups of SCI patients?
Patients
The criteria for inclusion are as follow: (1) Male patients with neuropathic bladder due to spinal cord injury, who are registered with the Regional Spinal Injuries Centre, Southport, England. (2) Age: 18 years or above. (3) Patients who are willing to give informed consent for participation in the study. (4) Patients willing to be contacted every two weeks by a staff of the spinal unit for 36 months. (5) Patients who are willing to maintain an accurate record of adverse events related to urinary catheter and urinary drainage system and predisposing factors for the occurrence of symptomatic urinary infection. (6) Patients, who are stabilised in a particular method of bladder drainage, and therefore, unlikely to make a permanent change in the method of bladder drainage (e.g. from penile sheath drainage to the use of long-term indwelling catheter) during a foreseeable future.
Methods
The participants will be observed for a period of 36 months. A staff of the spinal injuries unit will contact the participants by telephone every two weeks on a mutually agreed day and time. The information obtained during this standardised telephonic interview conducted once in two weeks will be entered in a database. When a participant develops symptom(s) suggestive of urinary infection, he will undergo urine and blood tests, and imaging studies of the urinary tract.
Conclusion
This study will provide information regarding the occurrence of symptomatic urinary infection, predisposing factors for development of urinary infection, and adverse events related to urinary catheter and urinary drainage system in SCI patients using different methods of bladder drainage.
doi:10.1186/1471-2490-1-2
PMCID: PMC60970  PMID: 11734072

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