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1.  Bladder stones – red herring for resurgence of spasticity in a spinal cord injury patient with implantation of Medtronic Synchromed pump for intrathecal delivery of baclofen – a case report 
BMC Urology  2003;3:3.
Background
Increased spasms in spinal cord injury (SCI) patients, whose spasticity was previously well controlled with intrathecal baclofen therapy, are due to (in order of frequency) drug tolerance, increased stimulus, low reservoir volume, catheter malfunction, disease progression, human error, and pump mechanical failure. We present a SCI patient, in whom bladder calculi acted as red herring for increased spasticity whereas the real cause was spontaneous extrusion of catheter from intrathecal space.
Case Presentation
A 44-year-old male sustained a fracture of C5/6 and incomplete tetraplegia at C-8 level. Medtronic Synchromed pump for intrathecal baclofen therapy was implanted 13 months later to control severe spasticity. The tip of catheter was placed at T-10 level. The initial dose of baclofen was 300 micrograms/day of baclofen, administered by a simple continuous infusion. During a nine-month period, he required increasing doses of baclofen (875 micrograms/day) to control spasticity. X-ray of abdomen showed multiple radio opaque shadows in the region of urinary bladder. No malfunction of the pump was detected. Therefore, increased spasticity was attributed to bladder stones. Electrohydraulic lithotripsy of bladder stones was carried out successfully. Even after removal of bladder stones, this patient required further increases in the dose of intrathecal baclofen (950, 1050, 1200 and then 1300 micrograms/day). Careful evaluation of pump-catheter system revealed that the catheter had extruded spontaneously and was lying in the paraspinal space at L-4, where the catheter had been anchored before it entered the subarachnoid space. A new catheter was passed into the subarachnoid space and the tip of catheter was located at T-8 level. The dose of intrathecal baclofen was decreased to 300 micrograms/day.
Conclusion
Vesical calculi acted as red herring for resurgence of spasticity. The real cause for increased spasms was spontaneous extrusion of whole length of catheter from subarachnoid space. Repeated bending forwards and straightening of torso for pressure relief and during transfers from wheel chair probably contributed to spontaneous extrusion of catheter from spinal canal in this patient.
doi:10.1186/1471-2490-3-3
PMCID: PMC155678  PMID: 12659647
2.  Long-term result of Memokath urethral sphincter stent in spinal cord injury patients 
BMC Urology  2002;2:12.
Background
Memokath urethral sphincter stents are used to facilitate bladder emptying in patients with spinal cord injury, but long term follow-up has not been reported.
Methods
Case series of ten men with spinal cord injury who underwent insertion of Memokath stents and were followed for up to nine years.
Results
Within four years, the stent had to be removed in nine out of ten patients because of: extensive mucosal proliferation causing obstruction to the lumen of the stent; stone around the proximal end of the stent, incomplete bladder emptying, and recurrent urinary infections; migration of the stent into the bladder related to digital evacuation of bowels; large residual urine; concretions within the stent causing obstruction to flow of urine, and partial blockage of the stent causing frequent episodes of autonomic dysreflexia. In one patient the stent continued to function satisfactorily after nine years.
Conclusions
The Memokath stent has a role as a temporary measure for treatment of detrusor-sphincter dyssynergia in selected SCI patients who do not get recurrent urinary infection and do not require manual evacuation of bowels.
doi:10.1186/1471-2490-2-12
PMCID: PMC137607  PMID: 12427256
3.  How should an infected perinephric haematoma be drained in a tetraplegic patient with baclofen pump implanted in the abdominal wall? – A case report 
BMC Urology  2002;2:9.
Background
We present a case to illustrate controversies in percutaneous drainage of infected, perinephric haematoma in a tetraplegic patient, who had implantation of baclofen pump in anterior abdominal wall on the same side as perinephric haematoma.
Case presentation
A 56-year-old male with C-4 tetraplegia had undergone implantation of programmable pump in the anterior abdominal wall for intrathecal infusion of baclofen to control spasticity. He developed perinephric haematoma while he was taking warfarin as prophylactic for deep vein thrombosis. Perinephric haematoma became infected with a resistant strain of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and required percutaneous drainage. Positioning this patient on his abdomen without anaesthesia, for insertion of a catheter from behind, was not a realistic option. Administration of general anaesthesia in this patient in the radiology department would have been hazardous.
Results and Conclusion
Percutaneous drainage was carried out by anterior approach under propofol sedation. The site of entry of percutaneous catheter was close to cephalic end of baclofen pump. By carrying out drainage from anterior approach, and by keeping this catheter for ten weeks, we took a risk of causing infection of the baclofen pump site, and baclofen pump with a resistant strain of Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The alternative method would have been to anaesthetise the patient and position him prone for percutaneous drainage of perinephric collection from behind. This would have ensured that the drainage track was far away from the baclofen pump with minimal risk of infection of baclofen pump, but at the cost of incurring respiratory complications in a tetraplegic subject.
doi:10.1186/1471-2490-2-9
PMCID: PMC128809  PMID: 12220481
4.  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
5.  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
6.  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

Results 1-6 (6)