Upper urinary tract abnormalities in multiple sclerosis patients with urinary symptoms

James A. Sliwa*, Hollis K. Bell, Kristin D. Mason, Richard M. Gore, John Nanninga, Bruce Cohen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine the prevalence of upper urinary tract complications in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients with urinary symptoms, and to determine if an association exists between degree of physical impairment and upper urinary tract complications. Design and Setting: A cohort study of MS patients seeking treatment at a freestanding, university-affiliated rehabilitation hospital. Participants: A referred sample of 48 patients with MS, exacerbation-free for 6 months with symptoms of neurogenic bladder dysfunction. For each patient, demographic data, disease characteristics, and urologic history was obtained. Using the Kurtzke Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS), participants were divided into a control (EDSS < 7) and study (EDSS ≥ 7) group. Intervention: Ultrasound examination of the upper urinary tract. Main Outcome Measure: Significant MS-related abnormalities of the upper urinary tract. Results: Ten of 48 patients (21%) had significant MS- related upper urinary tract abnormalities, which were evenly distributed between control and study groups. In the more disabled study group, abnormalities were associated with the symptom of urinary hesitancy (p < .05) and form of bladder management (p < .05). Conclusion: Routine screening for upper urinary tract complications appears indicated in a select group of MS patients with urinary symptoms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)247-251
Number of pages5
JournalArchives of physical medicine and rehabilitation
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation


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