Clean and sterile intermittent catheterization methods in hospitalized patients with spinal cord injury

Rosemarie B. King*, Carolyn E. Carlson, Jeanne Mervine, Yeongchi Wu, Gary M. Yarkony

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to compare the incidence of urinary infection using clean intermittent catheterization with the incidence of infection using sterile intermittent catheterization in patients hospitalized with spinal cord injury who were not receiving prophylactic antibiotics. Forty-six patients were assigned randomly to a clean (n = 23) or sterile (n = 23) study group. Catheterizations were done at least every six hours. Infection was defined as bacteriuria ≥100,000 organisms/mL or ≥10,000 organisms per mL with fever of 100°F or greater. Results of urinary dipslides were recorded daily. Twenty-eight subjects (60.9%) converted to ≥100,000 organisms per mL. Method of catheterization was neither associated significantly with development of ≥100,000 organisms per mL. (X2[1,46] = .36, p = .55) nor with symptomatic infections (X2[1,46] = .15, p = .70). Data support the use of clean intermittent catheterization under the conditions used in this study, including the use of a sterile catheter each day and careful monitoring of infection and technique. Before using this method with other diagnostic groups or in different clinical settings, further investigation is needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)798-802
Number of pages5
JournalArchives of physical medicine and rehabilitation
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1992


  • Catheterization
  • Intermittent
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Urinary infection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation


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