Survey on untethering of the spinal cord and urological manifestations among spina bifida patients in Malaysia

Nisheljeet, Singh and Azizi, Abu Bakar and Palaniandy, Kamalanathan and Ganesan, Dharmendra and Ong, Teng Aik and Alias, Azmi and Rajamanickam, Ramalinggam and Atroosh, Wahib M. and Mohd-Zin, Siti Waheeda and Lee-Shamsuddin, Andrea and Nivrenjeet, Singh and Lo, Warren and Abdul-Aziz, Noraishah Mydin (2022) Survey on untethering of the spinal cord and urological manifestations among spina bifida patients in Malaysia. Children-Basel, 9 (7). ISSN 2227-9067, DOI

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The incidence and severity of urinary tract infections (UTIs) due to spina bifida is poorly understood in Malaysia. Tethering of the spinal cord is a pathological fixation of the cord in the vertebral column that can result in neurogenic bladder dysfunction and other neurological problems. It occurs in patients with spina bifida, and the authors of this study sought to investigate the impact of untethering on the urological manifestations of children with a tethered cord, thereby consolidating a previously known understanding that untethering improves bladder and bowel function. Demographic and clinical data were collected via an online questionnaire and convenient sampling techniques were used. A total of 49 individuals affected by spina bifida participated in this study. UTIs were reported based on patients' observation of cloudy and smelly urine (67%) as well as urine validation (60%). UTI is defined as the combination of symptoms and factoring in urine culture results that eventually affects the UTI diagnosis in spina bifida individuals irrespective of CISC status. Furthermore, 18% of the respondents reported being prescribed antibiotics even though they had no history of UTI. Therefore, indiscriminate prescription of antibiotics by healthcare workers further compounds the severity of future UTIs. Employing CISC (73%) including stringent usage of sterile catheters (71%) did not prevent patients from getting UTI. Overall, 33% of our respondents reported manageable control of UTI (0-35 years of age). All individuals below the age of 5 (100%, n = 14) were seen to have improved urologically after the untethering surgery under the guidance of the Malaysia NTD support group. Improvement was scored and observed using KUB (Kidneys, Ureters and Bladder) ultrasound surveillance before untethering and continued thereafter. Spina bifida individuals may procure healthy bladder and bowel continence for the rest of their lives provided that neurosurgical and urological treatments were sought soon after birth and continues into adulthood.

Item Type: Article
Funders: Ministry of Higher Education, Malaysia, FP090-2019A, FRGS/1/2019/SKK06/UKM/02/06, FRGS/1/2019/SKK08/UM/02/17
Uncontrolled Keywords: Spina bifida; Urinary tract infection; Antibiotic stewardship; Urological management
Subjects: R Medicine > RJ Pediatrics
Divisions: Faculty of Medicine > Parasitology Deparment
Faculty of Medicine > Surgery Department
Depositing User: Ms. Juhaida Abd Rahim
Date Deposited: 22 Nov 2023 08:12
Last Modified: 22 Nov 2023 08:12

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