Urinary tract infections in patients with spinal injuries

Curr Infect Dis Rep. 2014 Jan;16(1):390. doi: 10.1007/s11908-013-0390-9.


Urinary tract infection remains an important problem for patients with spinal cord injury. Interventions used to promote bladder emptying and maintain low-pressure voiding have variable risks for urinary tract infection. Asymptomatic bacteriuria is common in this population and should not be treated. However, identification of symptomatic infection is compromised by difficulties in ascertainment of symptoms. Use of hydrophilic coated catheters for intermittent catheterization does not influence the frequency of symptomatic urinary tract infection. Botulinum toxin injection in the detrusor muscle or the urethral sphincter improves bladder emptying and does not influence the frequency of urinary infection. Asymptomatic bacteriuria is a common finding in pregnant women with spinal cord injury, but optimal management is not clear. Other research needs include further development and evaluation of interventions to decrease the frequency of infection, improve diagnostic precision, and limit the emergence of resistant organisms.