What is the protocol for long-term monitoring of a patient with bladder dysfunction?

Updated: Jan 04, 2019
  • Author: Gregory T Carter, MD, MS; Chief Editor: Elizabeth A Moberg-Wolff, MD  more...
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An outpatient visit 1 month after discharge is recommended. Provide support for patients with SCI who are unable to meet their needs independently by arranging for nursing services and attendants for home care.

Diagnostic follow-up should include the following measures:

  • In patients with indwelling catheters, perform cystoscopy annually to look for bladder tumors, because these patients are at increased risk for squamous cell and transitional cell carcinoma if they have had indwelling catheters for more than 10 years; perform cystoscopy more frequently if further risk factors (eg, smoking or a history of recurrent urinary tract infections) are present [35]

  • Perform ultrasonographic examinations of the kidneys and bladder annually

  • Perform voiding cystourethrography as needed

  • Schedule dimercaptosuccinic acid scanning as indicated

  • Determine the glomerular filtration rate as necessary

  • Order urinalysis and urine culture with sensitivity at least annually and as needed

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