Catheter-related urinary tract infection in patients suffering from spinal cord injuries

Bosn J Basic Med Sci. 2009 Feb;9(1):2-9. doi: 10.17305/bjbms.2009.2849.


Urinary tract infection is commoner in patients with spinal cord injuries because of incomplete bladder emptying and the use of catheters that can result in the introduction of bacteria into the bladder. 145 patients suffering from spinal cord injuries, admitted to the Institute for physical medicine and rehabilitation, Centre for paraplegia of the Clinical Centre of the University of Sarajevo, were included. The patients were divided in three groups according to the method of bladder drainage: Group A (n=61) consisted of patients on clean intermittent catheterization; Group B (n=54) consisted of patients with indwelling catheters; Group C (n=30) consisted of patients who had performed self-catheterization. From a total of 4539 urine samples, 3963 (87,3%) were positive and 576 (12,7%) were sterile. More than 90% of the infected patients were asymptomatic. The overall rate of urinary infection amounted to about 2,1 episodes, and bacteriuria to 8,1 episodes per patient. 77% of infections (113/145) were acquired within seven days from catheterization. Infection was usually polymicrobial; the greatest number of urine samples 1770/3943 (44,9%) included more than one bacterium. The vast majority of cases of urinary tract infection and bacteriuria are caused by Gram-negative bacilli and enterococci, commensal organisms of the bowel and perineum, representative of those from the hospital environment. Providencia stuarti (18,9%) being the most common, followed by Proteus mirabilis (16,3%), Escherichia coli (11,8%), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (10,2%), Klebsiella pneumoniae (8,1%), Morganella morgani (5,4%), Acinetobacter baumannii (4,6%), Providencia rettgeri (3,5%). 15,7% of isolates were Gram-positive with Enterococcus faecalis (8,6%) as the most common. 55,3% of isolates were multidrug-resistant, and the highest rates of resistance were found among Acinetobacter baumannii (87,8%), Providencia rettgeri (86,7%), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (85,4%), Providencia stuarti (84,3%) and Morganella morgani (81,0%). Lower rates of resistance were found in Group C, i.e. patients on intermittent self-catheterisation. Eradication of organisms was achieved in only 53 (10,05%) of patients; hence, antibiotic therapy had no or very low effect. Significant correlations were found between the method of catheterization and the frequency of bacteriuria and urinary tract infections. The analysis of Group C showed a rate of lower urinary tract infection and bacteriuria than the other two Groups of patients. The objective of this study is the update of etiology and antimicrobial susceptibility in urinary tract infections in this group of patients. In addition, possible correlations between UTI and the type of bladder management were examined.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Catheterization / adverse effects
  • Catheters, Indwelling / adverse effects
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Drug Resistance, Bacterial
  • Escherichia coli / drug effects
  • Escherichia coli / pathogenicity
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Proteus mirabilis / drug effects
  • Proteus mirabilis / pathogenicity
  • Providencia / drug effects
  • Providencia / pathogenicity
  • Self Care / adverse effects
  • Spinal Cord Injuries*
  • Urinary Catheterization / adverse effects*
  • Urinary Catheterization / instrumentation
  • Urinary Catheterization / methods*
  • Urinary Tract Infections / drug therapy
  • Urinary Tract Infections / epidemiology
  • Urinary Tract Infections / etiology*
  • Urinary Tract Infections / microbiology
  • Young Adult


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents