Neurological worsening due to infection from renal stones in a multiple sclerosis patient.

TitleNeurological worsening due to infection from renal stones in a multiple sclerosis patient.
Publication TypeJournal Article
AuthorsHillman LJ, Burns SP, Kraft GH
JournalMultiple Sclerosis
complications, infection, Multiple Sclerosis, neurogenic bladder, quadriplegic

Symptomatic bladder dysfunction occurs in the majority of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). Although guidelines have been established for diagnosis and management of bladder dysfunction in these patients, they are sometimes overlooked in the primary care setting, leading to severe, life threatening complications. A 64-year-old male with a 31-year history of spastic quadriparetic MS and neurogenic bladder dysfunction managed with an indwelling catheter, presented to the hospital with worsening neurological function. He had developed increased weakness and cognitive impairment several weeks after being treated for a urinary tract infection (UTI). He had become unable to perform any activities of daily living or drive his power wheelchair. After an extensive work-up, he was found to have a large (14 x 18 x 30 cm) retroperitoneal abscess and multiple renal stones, including a large obstructing calculus in the collecting system near the ureteropelvic junction, and he underwent nephrectomy and abscess drainage. Of note, he had been found to have multiple renal stones and hydronephrosis on renal ultrasound 3 years earlier, but he had received no treatment. Following drainage of the abscess, his upper extremity neurological function returned to baseline, his cognitive status improved, and he regained the ability to perform activities of daily living. Patients with paralysis from MS, much like those with traumatic spinal cord injuries, are at grave risk of mortality and morbidity from undiagnosed and under-treated urinary complications. This case demonstrates that evaluation and appropriate treatment for complications of neurogenic bladder should be part of routine care for patients with MS. Current recommendations for evaluation and management of bladder dysfunction in patients with MS will be reviewed.

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