Indwelling catheter vs intermittent catheterization: is there a difference in UTI susceptibility?

Vera Neumeier, Fabian P. Stangl, Joëlle Borer, Collene E. Anderson, Veronika Birkhäuser, Oksana Chemych, Oliver Gross, Miriam Koschorke, Jonas Marschall, Shawna McCallin, Ulrich Mehnert, Helen Sadri, Lara Stächele, Thomas M. Kessler, Lorenz Leitner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Patients with neurogenic lower urinary tract dysfunction (NLUTD) often rely on some type of catheterization for bladder emptying. Intermittent catheterization (IC) is considered the gold standard and is preferred over continuous catheterization, since it is considered to cause fewer urinary tract infections (UTIs) than indwelling catheterization. The main objective of our study was to describe UTI prevalence (at visit) and incidence (within the last 12 months) and urine culture characteristics between patients using an indwelling catheter versus (vs) those performing IC. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, we prospectively evaluated from 02/2020 to 01/2021 patients with NLUTD undergoing urine cultures for prophylactic reasons or due to UTI symptoms. At visit, all patients underwent a standardized interview on current UTI symptoms as well as UTI history and antibiotic consumption within the past year. Patients using an indwelling catheter (n = 206) or IC (n = 299) were included in the analysis. The main outcome was between-group differences regarding UTI characteristics. Results: Patients using an indwelling catheter were older (indwelling catheter vs IC: median 66 (Q1-Q3: 55—77) vs 55 (42—67) years of age) and showed a higher Charlson comorbidity index (indwelling catheter vs IC: median 4 (Q1-Q3: 2–6) vs 2 (1–4) (both p < 0·001). A total of 40 patients from both groups were diagnosed with a UTI at visit (indwelling catheters vs IC: 8% (16/206) vs 8% (24/299); p = 0·782), and the number of UTIs within the past 12 months was not significantly different between groups. Overall, Escherichia coli (21%), Enterococcus faecalis (17%), and Klebsiella spp. (12%) were the most frequently detected bacteria. Conclusions: In this cohort of patients with NLUTD, we did not find relevant differences in UTI frequency between groups. These results suggest that UTI-related concerns should not be given undue emphasis when counseling patients for catheter-related bladder emptying methods.

Original languageEnglish
Article number507
JournalBMC Infectious Diseases
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2023


  • Asymptomatic bacteriuria
  • Indwelling catheter
  • Intermittent catheterization
  • Neurogenic lower urinary tract dysfunction
  • Urinary tract infection


Dive into the research topics of 'Indwelling catheter vs intermittent catheterization: is there a difference in UTI susceptibility?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this