Favorable Outcomes of Repeat Electrofulguration Procedures in Women With Antibiotic-refractory Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections



      To evaluate the efficacy of repeat endoscopic electrofulguration in women with antibiotic-refractory, recurrent urinary tract infections (RUTIs) with persistent symptoms after 1 electrofulguration.


      An institutional review board-approved, prospectively maintained database of non-neurogenic women with RUTIs, persistent symptoms and endoscopic findings of bladder wall inflammation after 1 electrofulguration, and minimum 6 months follow-up was reviewed. Endoscopic success was defined as complete resolution of previous lesions without new lesions seen during office cystoscopy 6 months after second electrofulguration. Clinical success was defined as no urinary tract infections at last follow-up; improvement as 1-2 treated infections/year; and failure as ≥3 treated infections/year, daily antibiotic suppression, or another electrofulguration (third or fourth).


      From 2006 to 2018, 58/70 (83%) women with median age 70 years and median follow-up 26 months were included, and 53/58 had endoscopic data 6 months postsecond electrofulguration. Endoscopic success was noted in 26 (49%), and 21/26 had <3 UTIs within the last year of follow-up, vs 2/27 (7%) with endoscopic failure (P = .001). Among those with clinical failure, 6/30 (20%) remained on suppressive antibiotics, 9/30 (30%) required intravenous antibiotic courses, and 2 proceeded to cystectomy. Of 24 women who underwent a third electrofulguration, 11/24 (46%) were clinically successful or improved at median 22 months follow-up. Urine cultures from the year of last follow-up revealed extended-spectrum beta lactamase producing strains (50%) and strains resistant to >3 antibiotics (43%).


      Women with persistent RUTIs following 1 electrofulguration may benefit from a second or even third procedure.
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