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1.  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
2.  A study of cytokeratin 20 immunostaining in the urothelium of neuropathic bladder of patients with spinal cord injury 
BMC Urology  2002;2:7.
Background
Normal urothelium is characterised by terminally differentiated superficial cells, which express cytokeratin 20 in the cytoplasm. In contrast, cultured human stratified urothelium, which does not undergo complete terminal differentiation of its superficial cells, does not express cytokeratin 20. If spinal cord injury (SCI) affects urothelial differentiation or induces squamous or other metaplastic change undetected by histological analysis, the superficial urothelial cells of the neuropathic bladder might be expected to show absence of immunostaining for cytokeratin 20.
Patients and Methods
We studied immunostaining for cytokeratin 20 in bladder biopsies taken from 63 consecutive SCI patients. Immunostaining was performed on paraffin-embedded tissue using a mouse monoclonal antibody (clone: Ks20.8).
Results
Of 63 biopsies, the epithelium was scarce in two. Eight biopsies showed squamous metaplasia and immunostaining for cytokeratin 20 was absent in all the eight biopsies. Of the remaining 53 cases, in which the umbrella cell layer of the urothelium was intact, immunostaining for cytokeratin 20 was seen only in ten biopsies.
Conclusion
Superficial cells in the transitional epithelium showed immunostaining for cytokeratin 20 in 10 of 53 bladder biopsies taken from SCI patients. The reasons for this could be either that there is an underlying metaplasia or that changes in the neuropathic bladder affect urothelial differentiation. Taken with evidence from other systems, such as loss of cytokeratin 20 expression from static organ cultures of urothelial tissue, this might suggest that other factors, such as impairment of voluntary voiding in SCI patients, could affect expression of markers such as cytokeratin 20.
doi:10.1186/1471-2490-2-7
PMCID: PMC125297  PMID: 12147174
3.  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
4.  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
5.  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 1-5 (5)