Emphysematous cystitis - A case report

Intensive Care Department, Pedro Hispano Hospital, Matosinhos, Portugal.
The Brazilian journal of infectious diseases: an official publication of the Brazilian Society of Infectious Diseases (Impact Factor: 1.3). 01/2009; 12(6):552-4. DOI: 10.1590/S1413-86702008000600025
Source: PubMed


Emphysematous Cystitis is a primary infection of the bladder with production of gas by bacteria. The infection is uncommon, still has obvious clinical importance due to its morbidity and mortality potential, as the following case enlightens. We report a clinical case of a patient admitted with acute myocardial infarction who developed an acute emphysematous cystitis, a further complication in his long and complex period of hospitalization. © 2008 by The Brazilian Journal of Infectious Diseases and Contexto Publishing. All rights reserved.

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Available from: Cristina Granja, Dec 24, 2014
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    ABSTRACT: Emphysematous cystitis is a rare disease that occurs most often in elderly diabetic patients characterized by gas formation in the bladder wall due to infection. The infecting organism is usually an aerobic bacterium, most commonly E. coli although anaerobic species have also been reported. We report the use of hyperbaric oxygen in a patient with emphysematous cystitis and air in the femoral vein in which the treatment rapidly resolved the symptoms and radiological abnormalities. A 65-year-old female presented to the Emergency Department with altered mental status, weakness, dark urine, dysuria and fever. She was febrile and lethargic. Abdominal exam showed suprapubic tenderness. Urinalysis was positive for white blood cells and bacteria. A CT scan of the abdomen demonstrated extensive air in the bladder wall with an air bubble in the femoral vein. Presumptive diagnosis was urinary tract infection, emphysematous cystitis, and sepsis. A question of air embolism was raised due to the intravascular gas. The patient was treated with hyperbaric oxygen (2.85 atm abs, 90 minutes) on two separate occasions in the first 12 hours. Within 24 hours, the patient's condition rapidly improved. Repeat CT scan 48 hours after admission showed near complete resolution of the emphysematous cystitis. The patient grew Klebsiella pneumonia from her urine. Emphysematous cystitis is a rare condition caused by either aerobic or anaerobic bacteria and may be associated with both bladder wall and intravascular gas formation. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy has not been previously reported as a treatment modality. The rapid improvement in our patient may indicate a role for hyperbaric oxygen in addition to IV hydration and antibiotics in this disease.
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    ABSTRACT: Emphysematous cystitis is a rare disease characterized by primary infection of the urinary bladder with gas-producing pathogens. There is a paucity of information on this entity in the English-language literature covering the last 45 years, and the clinical picture is poorly outlined. We carried out a comprehensive, retrospective review of the English-language literature from 1986 to 2006, searching for reports describing cases of emphysematous cystitis. The demographic, clinical, laboratory, imaging, and outcome characteristics of every eligible patient were excerpted. In the present report, we describe a typical case of emphysematous cystitis, followed by an analysis of the literature. Of the 53 eligible cases, most were elderly women with diabetes mellitus (62.2%). Classic symptoms of urinary tract infection were present in only 53.3% of cases. Abdominal tenderness and hematuria were noted in 65.6% and 82.3% of cases, respectively. Plain abdominal X-ray was highly sensitive (97.4%), while abdominal computerized tomography was the most sensitive and specific diagnostic tool. A complicated course attributable to emphysematous cystitis was described in 18.8% of cases. The exact mechanism contributing to the formation of gas in such cases is unknown. Various theories have been suggested, including fermentation of glucose in urine, with emphasis on disequilibrium between gas formation and clearance. Emphysematous cystitis has a highly variable presentation and course, with a considerable potential for complications. Further diagnostic imaging is highly recommended in diabetic patients with urinary tract infection who present with abdominal pain and hematuria. Knowledge of this rare entity may lead to early diagnosis and appropriate management.
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