Ketamine-associated bladder dysfunction

Int J Urol. 2009 Oct;16(10):826-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1442-2042.2009.02361.x. Epub 2009 Jul 29.


Objective: To assess the impact of ketamine abuse on genitourinary tract dysfunction.

Methods: Eleven patients with urinary tract symptoms and a history of ketamine abuse in recent years were studied. Urinalysis, urine culture, renal function tests, abdominal sonography and urodynamic studies were done. Bladder biopsies were carried out in selected cases.

Results: The most common complaints were lower urinary tract symptoms, including dysuria, frequency, urgency and gross hematuria. Urinalyses showed nonbacterial pyuria and were negative for tuberculosis. All biopsy specimens showed infiltrations of granulocytes (mostly eosinophils) and mast cells within the bladder tissue. Medications produced only slight clinical improvements. Intravesical instillation of hyaluronan solution was performed for some patients and a significant improvement of lower urinary tract symptoms was observed.

Conclusions: Although the dosage and duration of ketamine abuse causing severe side-effects are still unclear, some patients develop irreversible histological changes in the urinary tract. Therefore, clinicians should be aware of the negative effects of ketamine abuse on genitourinary tract function.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Ketamine / adverse effects*
  • Male
  • Substance-Related Disorders / complications*
  • Urinary Bladder Diseases / chemically induced*
  • Urinary Bladder Diseases / pathology
  • Young Adult


  • Ketamine