IC Journal Club - Intermittent Self-Catheterization in Multiple Sclerosis

October 9, 2014

IC Journal Club - Clean Intermittent Self-Catheterization in Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

Hosted by Eric S. Rovner, MD
Professor of Urology - Medical University of South Carolina

This intermittent catheterization journal club summarizes a review article by Jean Jacques Wyndaele who is Professor and Chairman of the Department of Urology at the University of Antwerp and the University Hospital Antwerp. He is Chair of the Animal Research Laboratory of the Urological Department at the University of Antwerp and Vice Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at the same institution. In this paper, Dr. Wyndaele focuses on the use and benefits of clean intermittent catheterization in multiple sclerosis patients who have neurogenic bladder dysfunction.

For MS patients who experience neurogenic voiding dysfunction, clean intermittent catheterization (CIC) is the preferred method of removing urine from the bladder.  Jack Lapides, MD first described this technique more than 40 years ago and today it remains the most successful technique for bladder emptying in people with urinary retention.

Clean intermittent self-catheterization, or clean intermittent catheterization, in people who require help from others to catheterize, is intended to mimic the normal bladder function of the filling and emptying cycle in normal micturition. Intermittent catheterization prevents the development of chronic fibrosis and the eventual development of a small capacity and poorly compliant bladder.

There are many materials and designs of intermittent catheters, however, there are several advantages to the single-use, hydrophilic catheters.  The single-use, hydrophilic catheters may reduce the incidence of urinary tract infections in all persons requiring intermittent catheterization, as well as reducing the potential for urethral wall trauma.  

Intermittent catheters need to be selected in the right size and length. IC needs to be performed at least 4 times per day to completely empty the bladder and some patients more frequently each day. Compliance to IC is essential in patients who have urinary retention.

This presentation provides a review of the use of intermittent catheterization in MS patients with neurogenic bladder dysfunction.


Eric S. Rovner, M.D. is a Professor in the Department of Urology at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) in Charleston, South Carolina. He is the director of the Section of Voiding Dysfunction, Female Urology and Urodynamics in the Department of Urology at MUSC. He is currently a member of the Executive Committee of SUFU serving as the President. He is a Board Certified member of the American Urological Association, Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, Society of Pelvic Surgeons, and the Society of University Urologists. Dr. Rovner has served on several committees for the WHO International Consultation on Incontinence and is currently a member of the AUA Urodynamics Guidelines Committee. He served as a member of the AUA/ABU Examination Committee and the AUA SUI Guidelines Committee.

Dr. Rovner’s research interests include the study of voiding dysfunction, overactive bladder, interstitial cystitis, neurourology and urodynamics. He has a highly specialized clinical practice within Urology and sees mostly patients with complex voiding problems including urinary incontinence, vaginal prolapse, urinary fistulae and neurogenic bladder dysfunction. He has held several visiting professorships and is the author or coauthor of over 100 peer-reviewed scientific articles, over 25 book chapters, dozens of monographs, as well as a lay book on urinary incontinence.