Objective: To investigate the use of a translated Chinese version of the pelvic pain and urgency/frequency symptom scale as an assessment and prognostic tool to evaluate the severity of street-ketamine-associated lower urinary tract symptoms and their reversibility after abstinence.
Design: Cross-sectional study.
Setting: A special designated out-patient clinic in a regional hospital in Hong Kong.
Participants: There were 50 patients with street-ketamine-associated lower urinary tract symptoms and 20 healthy individuals.
Main outcome measures: Reliability and validity of the questionnaire; frequency of individual lower urinary tract symptoms, cystoscopic, urodynamic and radiological abnormalities, and their correlation with pelvic pain and the urgency/frequency score.
Results: The test-retest reliability coefficient was 0.755 (P<0.001). Cronbach's alpha was 0.974. Mann-Whitney U test proved the discriminatory ability of the questionnaire (P<0.001). Patients with specific lower urinary tract symptoms had a higher mean pelvic pain and urgency/frequency total score compared to those without them: frequency (23.8 vs 17.3), nocturia (22.4 vs 14.0), urgency (22.5 vs 15.1), dysuria (22.7 vs 13.3), and haematuria (24.8 vs 16.2). The number of daytime voids and nocturia episodes correlated well with pelvic pain and urgency/frequency scores. With an increasing score, the likelihood of having cystitis changes, urodynamic abnormalities and hydronephrosis increased, while the cystometrically determined bladder capacity decreased. None of the patients with a score of 16 or below had urodynamic abnormality or hydronephrosis. The mean score change in the abstinence group was -4.33, versus +3.33 in their counterparts.
Conclusions: The Chinese version of the pelvic pain and urgency/frequency questionnaire is reliable and valid for assessment in patients with street-ketamine-associated lower urinary tract symptoms. The pelvic pain and urgency/frequency score correlates well with symptom severity as well as endoscopic, urodynamic and radiological abnormalities in patients with street-ketamine-associated lower urinary tract symptoms. A cut-off total pelvic pain and urgency/frequency score of 17 may suggest more serious urological sequelae from ketamine abuse. Abstinence from ketamine reduced lower urinary tract symptoms, but the extent of reversibility of urinary tract damage is yet to be evaluated.