Intermittent self-catheterisation (ISC) is used in everyday practice for bladder dysfunction. This study from Southampton, UK presents a Cochrane review of different catheter designs, user satisfaction and incidence of urinary tract infection (UTI), etc. The following factors were looked at: 1) single use vs. multiple use catheters, 2) hydrophilic coated vs. prelubricated / uncoated, 3) sterile technique vs. clean. Thirty-one trials (13 randomised controlled trials and 18 randomised crossover trials) were studied. There is a wide difference in studies and follow-up, etc. In summary, the current evidence is weak. It has not been established whether UTI and haematuria etc. are related to sterile or clean techniques. For the time being a patient’s choice will depend on personal preference, cost, portability and ease of user. Further clinical trials are necessary. 

Intermittent catheterisation for long term bladder management (abridged Cochrane review).
Prieto JA, Murphy C, Moore KN, Fader MJ.
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Arun K Sharma

West Herts NHS Trust (Watford General Hospital)

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