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Management of urinary tract infections in patients with neurogenic bladder: challenges and solutions

Authors Pannek J, Wöllner J

Received 7 April 2017

Accepted for publication 2 June 2017

Published 11 July 2017 Volume 2017:9 Pages 121—127

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/RRU.S113610

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Akshita Wason

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Jan Colli


Jürgen Pannek, Jens Wöllner

Neuro-Urology, Swiss Paraplegic Center, Nottwil, Switzerland

Introduction: Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are one of the most common morbidities in persons with neurogenic lower urinary tract dysfunction (NLUTD). They are associated with a significant morbidity and mortality, and they affect the quality of life of the affected patients. Diagnosis and treatment of UTI in this group of patients are challenging. In this review, the current strategies regarding diagnosis, treatment, and prevention are summarized.
Diagnostics: it is important to correctly diagnose a UTI, as treatment of bacteriuria should strictly be avoided. A UTI is defined as a combination of laboratory findings (leukocyturia and bacteriuria) and symptoms. Laboratory findings without symptoms are classified as asymptomatic bacteriuria. Routine urine screening is not advised.
Treatment: Only UTI should be treated; treatment of asymptomatic bacteriuria is not indicated. Prior to treatment, urine for a urine culture should be obtained. Antibiotic treatment for ~7 days is advised.
Prevention: In recurrent UTI, bladder management should be optimized and morphologic causes for UTI should be excluded. If UTIs persist, medical prophylaxis should be considered. Currently, no prophylactic measure with evidence-based efficacy exists. Long-term antibiotic prophylaxis should be used merely as an ultimate measure. Among the various mentioned innovative approaches for UTI prevention, bacteriophages, intravesical instillations, complementary and alternative medicine techniques, and probiotics seem to be most promising.
Conclusion: Recently, several promising innovative options for UTI prophylaxis have been developed which may help overcome the current therapeutic dilemma. However, further well designed studies are necessary to evaluate the safety and efficacy of these approaches.

Keywords: neurogenic lower urinary tract dysfunction, spinal cord injury, prophylaxis, resistance, lactobacilli, cranberries

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