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TheScientificWorldJOURNAL
Volume 6, Pages 2450-2459
http://dx.doi.org/10.1100/tsw.2006.382
Research Article

A Comparative Study of Ultrasound Examination of Urinary Tract Performed on Spinal Cord Injury Patients with No Urinary Symptoms and Spinal Cord Injury Patients with Symptoms Related to Urinary Tract: Do Findings of Ultrasound Examination Lead to Changes in Clinical Management?

1Regional Spinal Injuries Centre, District General Hospital, Southport, UK
2Department of Radiology, District General Hospital, Southport, PR8 6PN, UK

Received 12 April 2006; Revised 19 June 2006; Accepted 20 June 2006

Academic Editor: Ziya Kirkali

Copyright © 2006 Subramanian Vaidyanathan et al.

Abstract

Findings of ultrasound examination of the urinary tract and changes in clinical management, which were instituted on the basis of ultrasound examination, were compared between two groups of spinal cord injury patients. Group 1 had no urinary symptoms when they underwent the scan, whereas group 2 was comprised of patients with symptoms pertaining to the urinary tract. Between 2000 and 2006, ultrasound examination of the urinary tract was performed in 87 spinal cord injury patients who had no urinary symptoms when they underwent the ultrasound scan. No abnormality was found in 63 patients. The ultrasound scan showed some abnormality of the urinary tract in 24 patients (simple cyst in the kidney: 4; reduced size of a kidney: 3; increased echogenicity of left kidney: 1; prominent extrarenal pelvis and mild calyceal dilatation: 1; slightly dilated renal pelvis and calyceal system: 1; pelvic kidney showing mild hydronephrosis: 1; foetal lobulation of kidney: 2; multicystic kidney with no interval change in the appearance since last examination: 1; 2-cm-diameter parapelvic cyst: 1; small renal calyceal calculus: 5; a little cortical scarring bilaterally: 1; focal renal scar: 2; generalised thinning of renal cortex: 3; increase in renal sinus fat: 3; trabeculated bladder: 2; small vesical diverticulum: 1; mild generalised bladder wall thickening: 1; small residual urine in postvoid scan; 2). No specific interventions were performed in these patients on the basis of ultrasound findings. In Group 2, ultrasound examination revealed serious abnormalities such as hydronephrosis, pyonephrosis, vesical calculi, vesical polyp in 20 of 21 patients, and all 20 patients required therapeutic intervention on the basis of ultrasound scan findings.In conclusion, routine ultrasound examination of the urinary tract in spinal cord injury patients who have no urinary symptoms may not be justifiable in terms of cost effectiveness; limited hospital resources should be directed to spinal cord injury patients with urinary symptoms so that ultrasound examination and therapeutic interventions based on ultrasound findings are carried out expeditiously.