Systematic Review of Urological followup after Spinal Cord Injury

CITATION: Cameron, A. P., Rodriguez, G. M., & Schomer, K. G. (2011). Systematic review of urological followup after spinal cord injury. J Urol, 187(2), 391-7.

PURPOSE: There is no consensus on the appropriate urological followup of individuals after spinal cord injury but it is well known that they are at risk for renal deterioration, bladder cancer and stones. We systematically reviewed the literature to evaluate evidence of urological screening in this population.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: We reviewed 385 abstracts, of which 50 met study inclusion criteria. We rated evidence using American Academy of Neurology 2004 guidelines.

RESULTS: A total of 12 articles evaluated urinary tract infection screening. Patient reported symptoms used to predict urinary tract infection yielded mixed results and urine dipstick testing had the same accuracy as microscopy. Routine urine culture was unnecessary in healthy, asymptomatic individuals with normal urinalysis. Urodynamics probably must be done periodically (6 articles) but there was no information on frequency. In 11 articles ultrasound was recommended as a useful, noninvasive and possibly cost-effective screening method. Renal scan was a good method for further testing, especially if ultrasound was positive (11 articles). Evidence was sufficient (11 articles) to recommend ultrasound of the urinary tract to detect urinary tract stones with good sensitivity but not plain x-ray of the kidneys, ureters and bladder (2 articles). There was insufficient evidence to recommend urine markers or cytology for bladder cancer screening (9 articles).

CONCLUSIONS: Based on this review no definitive recommendations for screening can be made except routine renal ultrasound. Urodynamics are an important part of screening but the frequency is unclear. The optimum bladder cancer screening method has not been defined.