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J Urol. 2000 Oct;164(4):1285-9.

Epidemiology and risk factors for urinary tract infection in patients with spinal cord injury.

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Departments of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and Medicine, Hospital Nacional de Paraplejicos, Toledo and Department of Preventive Medicine, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Madrid, Spain.



To our knowledge risk factors for urinary tract infection associated with various drainage methods in patients with spinal cord injury have never been evaluated overall in the acute period. We identified the incidence and risk factors associated with urinary tract infection in spinal cord injured patients.


We prospectively followed 128 patients at our spinal cord injury reference hospital for 38 months and obtained certain data, including demographic characteristics, associated factors, methods of urinary drainage, bladder type, urological complications and predisposing factors of each infection episode. Logistic regression modeling was done to analyze variables and identify risk factors that predicted urinary tract infection.


Of 128 patients 100 (78%) were male with a mean age plus or minus standard deviation of 32 +/- 14.52 years. All patients had a nonfatal condition by McCabe and Jackson guidelines, and 47% presented with associated factors. The incidence of urinary tract infection was expressed as number episodes per 100 patients daily or person-days. The overall incidence of urinary tract infection was 0.68, while for male indwelling, clean intermittent, condom and female suprapubic catheterization, and normal voiding the rate was 2.72, 0.41, 0.36, 0. 34 and 0.06, respectively. The risk factors associated with urinary tract infection were invasive procedures without antibiotic prophylaxis, cervical injury and chronic catheterization (odds ratio 2.62, 3 and 4, respectively). Risk factors associated with repeat infection were a functional independence measure score of less than 74 and vesicoureteral reflux (odds ratio 10 and 23, respectively).


Spinal cord injured patients with complete dependence and vesicoureteral reflux are at highest risk for urinary tract infection.

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