Neurogenic lower urinary tract dysfunction (NLUTD) is commonly encountered in rehabilitation settings, and is caused by a variety of pathologies.
The management of spinal cord injury (SCI) has been the model of reference for the management of other pathologies with NLUTD. The introduction of intermittent catheterization (IC) led to decline in renal related mortality in SCI patients and allowed an improvement of quality of life (QoL) in all neurogenic patients with NLUTD. IC could be sterile, aseptic or clean. Sterile intermittent catheterization (SIC) is the preferred method of bladder drainage in emergency medicine units and during spinal shock in SCI patients, but it is costly and time-consuming. Catheterizations performed in institutions, such as rehabilitation hospitals and nursing homes, are done aseptically. Clean intermittent catheterization (CIC), i.e. self-catheterization (CISC) or third party catheterization, represents the "gold standard" method for bladder emptying in all neuropathic patients with NLUTD: the technique is safe and effective and results in improved kidney and upper urinary tract status, lessening of vesico-ureteral reflux and amelioration of urinary continence. CISC is mandatory in patients with NLUTD secondary to detrusor areflexia/hypocontractility and in patients suffering from neurogenic detrusor overactivity with detrusor external sphincter dyssynergia and high post void residual of urine, often in combination with antimuscarinics/bladder relaxants. The review summarizes the most important aspects of IC and CISC. Attention was focused on the history of urethral catheterization, aims, materials, advantages, indications, and present-day techniques of CISC, emphasizing the importance of teaching in order to perform correctly the catheterization technique.
Di Benedetto P. Are you the author?
University of Udine, Udine, Italy.
Reference: Eur J Phys Rehabil Med. 2011 Dec;47(4):651-9.