The Stockholm Spinal Cord Uro Study: 2. Urinary tract infections in a regional prevalence group: frequency, symptoms and treatment strategies.

Objective: To examine symptomatic urinary tract infections (UTI) in a regional prevalence group of patients with traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI), to assess risk factors for recurring infections and to identify a high-risk sub-population for frequently recurring and severe febrile UTIs. Materials and Methods: Four hundred and twelve patients who attended a yearly check-up at the Spinalis SCI clinic were included. A regional programme for neurogenic bladder dysfunction was applied, including S-creatinine and S-cystatin-C, urine culture, residual urine, ultrasound of kidneys, urodynamic studies and a questionnaire regarding complications during the preceding year. Descriptive statistics and regression analysis were used to estimate risk factors.Results: Nearly half of all patients reported ≥1 UTI during the preceding year with a mean number of 3.6. Persons who use normal voiding had the lowest frequency, while those with catheter-assisted voiding reported the highest numbers. A sub-group of patients had more frequent and severe UTIs. They were characterized by a cervical or thoracic neurological level lesion and a more severe injury and the presence of SCI-related complications such as spasticity, neuropathic pain and autonomic dysreflexia. The most common signs and symptoms of UTI were smelly and cloudy urine, feelings of malaise and increased spasticity.Conclusions: Risk profiles for recurring and severe UTIs were catheter-assisted voiding, cervical or thoracic levels and more complete neurological lesions and the co-existence of other SCI-related complications. There is a need for an increased understanding of the special symptoms of UTI in this patient group and a strategy to avoid unspecific antibiotic treatment.

Scandinavian journal of urology. 2020 Mar 09 [Epub ahead of print]

Elisabeth Farrelly, Lena Lindbo, Hans Wijkström, Åke Seiger

Department NVS, Division of Clinical Geriatrics, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden., Rehab Station, Praktikertjänst, Stockholm, Sweden., CLINTEC Department, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.