Long-term outcomes of urethral catheterisation injuries: a prospective multi-institutional study.

There are no prospective data describing the incidence and spectrum of long-term complications associated with traumatic urethral catheterisation (UC). We prospectively monitored the long-term clinical outcomes and complications of patients with traumatic UC injuries.

A prospective study at two tertiary university hospitals was performed to record all referrals for iatrogenic urethral injuries caused by UC. Long-term follow-up was prospectively maintained by regular outpatient department visits and by monitoring all urological interventions and their outcomes from urinary catheter-related injuries.

The incidence of traumatic UC was 13.4 per 1000 catheters inserted in male patients and 37 iatrogenic urethral injuries were recorded. The mean age was 74 ± 12 years and the mean length of follow-up was 37 ± 3.7 months. Urethral injuries were caused by inflating the catheter anchoring balloon in the urethra (n = 26) or by creating a false passage with the catheter tip (n = 11). In total, 29 patients (78%) developed urethral stricture disease during their follow-up; of which 11 have required at least one urethral dilation and two have required one urethrotomy. Three patients required long-term indwelling suprapubic catheter placement and seven patients opted for a long-term indwelling urethral catheter. There were eight patient mortalities; one of which was due to severe urosepsis resulting from catheter balloon inflation in the urethra.

Catheter-related injuries are associated with significant long-term complications in this vulnerable patient cohort. In future, such injuries may be preventable if the safety profile of the urinary catheter is modified.

World journal of urology. 2019 Apr 24 [Epub ahead of print]

N F Davis, N R Bhatt, E MacCraith, H D Flood, R Mooney, G Leonard, M T Walsh

Department of Urology, Beaumont and Connolly Hospitals, Dublin, Ireland. ., Department of Urology, Tallaght Hospital, Dublin, Ireland., Department of Urology, St Vincent's University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland., School of Engineering, Bernal Institute and the Health Research Institute, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland.