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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.  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

Results 1-5 (5)