Burden of intermittent catheterization

Researcher(s): Dr. Andrei Krassioukov

Researchers in Dr. Andrei Krassioukov’s lab are interested in exploring the effect of intermittent catheterization in the health of individuals with SCI, specifically in regards to the presence of urinary tract infections (UTIs) and episodes of autonomic dysreflexia (AD).

Complications from neurogenic lower urinary tract dysfunction (NLUTD) following SCI, such as UTIs, are associated with dangerous episodes of increases in blood pressure, known as AD. It is for this reason Dr. Krassioukov and his team propose individuals with SCI are at an underestimated risk for UTIs by re-using catheters for intermittent catheterization. The primary purpose of this part of the study will be looking at the impact of re-using catheters of intermittent catheterization on the rate of UTIs and urinary bacterial levels.

For the study, participants (or aided by a caregiver/family member/partner) will use intermittent catheterization and a swab for bacteria over a 3 day period.

Why should you participate in this study?

It is hoped that your participation in this study will help inform best practices regarding re-use of catheters in intermittent catheterization and its effect on microbiological burden.

You may be able to participate in this study if you:

  • are a male or female, 18 years of age or older with an SCI
  • have a family member or partner who will perform intermittent catheterization for the management of urinary bladder drainage
  • are able to speak and understand English

You may not be able to participate in this study if you:

  • have a severe acute medical issue that in the investigator’s judgement would adversely affect your participation in the study
  • do not have other individuals to perform intermittent catheterization
  • have undergone any urinary diversion procedure in the past
  • are using high temperature methods (i.e. boiling or microwaving catheters) or any method that can compromise the integrity of the catheter or the biofilm will be excluded
    • The method of cleaning and whether or not it can compromise the catheter will be up to the investigator’s judgement

Time Commitment

The study involves 2 visits (30-60 minutes each), and 3 consecutive days of at-home swabs taken by yourself, a family member or partner (9 total swabs, 3 per day). The first in-person visit will occur on day one, before the 3 at-home swabs. The second in-person visit will occur after the at-home swabs.

Compensation for participation

$100 remuneration will be provided upon completion of participation. In addition, the resulting information may benefit participants and future individuals in making choices regarding catheter re-use.

The study will take place at ICORD (Blusson Spinal Cord Centre), 818 West 10th Avenue, Vancouver

For more information or to sign up to participate, please contact Tiev Miller by email or call 604-716-6961.