Hydrophilic Catheters Versus Noncoated Catheters for Reducing the Incidence of Urinary Tract Infections: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Diana D. Cardenas, Jeanne M. Hoffman

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50 Scopus citations


Cardenas DD, Hoffman JM. Hydrophilic catheters versus noncoated catheters for reducing the incidence of urinary tract infections: a randomized controlled trial. Objective: To test the hypotheses that hydrophilic catheters reduce the incidence of symptomatic urinary tract infections (UTIs) in persons with spinal cord injury on self-intermittent catheterization (IC). Design: Randomized controlled trial. Setting: Community. Participants: Subjects (N=56) on IC with recurrent UTIs and who met eligibility criteria. Intervention: Use of hydrophilic catheters for IC. Main Outcome Measure: Symptomatic UTIs treated with antibiotics. Results: Of the 56 subjects enrolled, 45 completed the study (22 in the treatment group, 23 in the control group). There were no significant differences in demographics, including sex, between the treatment group and the controls except for more tetraplegic subjects in the control group (P<.05). Seventy-one percent of the treatment group and 52% of the control group were men. The total number of symptomatic UTIs treated with antibiotics was significantly smaller in the treatment group than in the control group (P<.05). Seventy percent of the control group had at least 1 antibiotic treatment episode compared with only 50% of those with the hydrophilic catheter (P=.18). There was no significant difference in the incidence of bacteriuria or symptomatic UTIs among the 2 groups. Level of injury and years with injury were unrelated to symptomatic UTIs, but being female increased the risk of UTIs (P<.01). Conclusions: Although there was no difference in the number of symptomatic UTIs in the 2 groups, hydrophilic catheter usage was associated with reduced numbers of treated UTIs as compared with standard nonhydrophilic catheters in persons with spinal cord injury who used self-IC; however, the study is limited by a small sample size. Women on self-IC were more likely to develop UTIs regardless of the catheter type, suggesting that the benefits of the lubrication may be more important in men.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1668-1671
Number of pages4
JournalArchives of physical medicine and rehabilitation
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2009


  • Rehabilitation
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Urinary catheterization
  • Urinary tract infections

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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