Send to

Choose Destination
Urol Int. 2012;89(1):93-6. doi: 10.1159/000338098. Epub 2012 Jun 16.

Ketamine-associated urinary tract dysfunction: an underrecognized clinical entity.

Author information

Department of Urology, Guangdong and Shenzhen Key Laboratory of Male Reproductive Medicine and Genetics, Institute of Urology, Peking University Shenzhen Hospital, Shenzhen PKU-HKUST Medical Center, Shenzhen, PR China. yqlord @



The use of ketamine as a recreational drug is on the increase among young adults attending clubs and parties. Recreational ketamine users have anecdotally reported increased lower urinary tract symptoms while using the substance.


We describe the severe lower urinary tract symptoms experienced in 6 patients with chronic recreational ketamine use. We obtained a detailed history and physical examination along with further investigation to identify a relationship between recreational ketamine use and these symptoms.


The urine cultures were sterile in all cases. Intravenous urography was performed in 3 patients and demonstrated bilateral upper ureteric narrow, mild bilateral hydronephrosis and contracted bladder urodynamic studies showed detrusor instability with urinary leakage when the bladder was filled to a capacity of 30- 50 ml. Cystoscopy revealed a small capacity bladder with erythematous lesions throughout the bladder. Bladder biopsies were performed in 3 patients and showed up as chronic cystitis. Ketamine cessation along with intravesical sodium hyaluronate solution appeared to provide some symptomatic relief.


Ketamine-associated urinary tract dysfunction appears to be a relatively new clinical phenomenon. The pathological mechanism of ketamine-associated urinary tract dysfunction is unknown and current management strategies are ketamine cessation along with intravesical sodium hyaluronate solution.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for S. Karger AG, Basel, Switzerland
Loading ...
Support Center