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Early versus late removal of urinary catheter after kidney transplantation

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Michael Goodfellow, Dr Emily ThompsonORCiD, Dr Sam Tingle, Professor Colin Wilson


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Copyright © 2023 The Cochrane Collaboration. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.Background: The optimal treatment for end-stage kidney disease is kidney transplantation. During the operation, a catheter is introduced into the bladder and remains in place postoperatively to allow the bladder to drain. This decreases tension from the cysto-ureteric anastomosis and promotes healing. Unfortunately, urinary catheters can pose an infection risk to patients as they allow bacteria into the bladder, potentially resulting in a urinary tract infection (UTI). The longer the catheter remains in place, the greater the risk of developing a UTI. There is no consensus approach to the time a catheter should remain in place post-transplant. Furthermore, the different timings of catheter removal are thought to be associated with different incidences of UTI and postoperative complications, such as anastomotic breakdown. Objectives: This review aimed to compare patients who had their catheter removed < 5 days post-transplant surgery to those patients who had their catheter removed ≥ 5 days following their kidney transplant. Primary outcome measures between the two groups included: the incidence of symptomatic UTIs, the incidence of asymptomatic bacteriuria and the incidence of major urological complications requiring intervention and treatment. Search methods: We searched the Cochrane Kidney and Transplant Register of Studies up to 13 April 2023 through contact with the Information Specialist using search terms relevant to this review. Studies in the Register are identified through searches of CENTRAL, MEDLINE, and EMBASE, conference proceedings, the International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (ICTRP) Search Portal and Selection criteria: All randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and quasi-RCTs comparing timing of catheter removal post-transplantation were eligible for inclusion. All donor types were included, and all recipients were included regardless of age, demographics or type of urinary catheter used. Data collection and analysis: Results from the literature search were screened by two authors to identify if they met our inclusion criteria. We designated removal of a urinary catheter before five days (120 hours) as an 'early removal' and anything later than this as a 'late removal.' The studies were assessed for quality using the risk of bias tool. The primary outcome of interest was the incidence of asymptomatic bacteriuria. Statistical analyses were performed using the random effects model, and results were expressed as relative risk (RR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI). Confidence in the evidence was assessed using the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) approach. Main results: Two studies (197 patients) were included in our analysis. One study comprised a full-text article, and the other was a conference abstract with very limited information. The risk of bias in the included studies was generally either high or unclear. It is uncertain whether early versus late removal of the urinary catheter made any difference to the incidence of asymptomatic bacteriuria (RR 0.89, 95% Cl 0.17 to 4.57; participants = 197; I2 = 88%; very low certainty evidence). Data on other outcomes, such as the incidence of UTI and the incidence of major urological complications, were lacking. Furthermore, the follow-up of patients across the studies was short, with no patients being followed beyond one month. Authors' conclusions: A high-quality, well-designed RCT is required to compare the effectiveness of early catheter removal versus late catheter removal in patients following a kidney transplant. At the present time, there is insufficient evidence to suggest any difference between early and late catheter removal post-transplant, and the studies investigating this were generally of poor quality.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Goodfellow M, Thompson ER, Tingle SJ, Wilson C

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews

Year: 2023

Volume: 2023

Issue: 7

Online publication date: 14/07/2023

Acceptance date: 02/04/2023

ISSN (electronic): 1469-493X

Publisher: John Wiley and Sons Ltd


DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD013788.pub2

PubMed id: 37449968