Urinary tract infection in the neurogenic bladder

There is a high incidence of urinary tract infection (UTI) in patients with neurogenic lower urinary tract function. This results in significant morbidity and health care utilization. Multiple well-established risk factors unique to a neurogenic bladder (NB) exist while others require ongoing investigation.

It is important for care providers to have a good understanding of the different structural, physiological, immunological and catheter-related risk factors so that they may be modified when possible. Diagnosis remains complicated. Appropriate specimen collection is of paramount importance and a UTI cannot be diagnosed based on urinalysis or clinical presentation alone. A culture result with a bacterial concentration of ≥10(3) CFU/mL in combination with symptoms represents an acceptable definition for UTI diagnosis in NB patients. Cystoscopy, ultrasound and urodynamics should be utilized for the evaluation of recurrent infections in NB patients. An acute, symptomatic UTI should be treated with antibiotics for 5-14 days depending on the severity of the presentation. Antibiotic selection should be based on local and patient-based resistance patterns and the spectrum should be as narrow as possible if there are no concerns regarding urosepsis. Asymptomatic bacteriuria (AB) should not be treated because of rising resistance patterns and lack of clinical efficacy. The most important preventative measures include closed catheter drainage in patients with an indwelling catheter and the use of clean intermittent catheterization (CIC) over other methods of bladder management if possible. The use of hydrophilic or impregnated catheters is not recommended. Intravesical Botox, bacterial interference and sacral neuromodulation show significant promise for the prevention of UTIs in higher risk NB patients and future, multi-center, randomized controlled trials are required.

Translational andrology and urology. 2016 Feb [Epub]

Humberto R Vigil, Duane R Hickling

Division of Urology, Department of Surgery, The Ottawa Hospital, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada., Division of Urology, Department of Surgery, The Ottawa Hospital, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.