Case report of ketamine-induced urinary tract injury

November 7, 2011, 12:00 am


Ketamine-associated vesicopathy. Chen YC, Chen YL et al. QJM 2011 Sep 14 [Epub ahead of print]

No abstract available

An under-recognized complication of chronic ketamine abuse is injury to the bladder. Ketamine or a metabolite gets concentrated in the urine, causing inflammation, fibrosis, and decreased compliance.  These patients — typically young males — present with severe lower urinary tract symptoms (urgency, frequency, dysuria0 and suprapubic pain. Work-up reveals a small-capacity bladder (sometimes less than 100 mL) with a thick wall. Secondary hydronephrosis can cause renal failure.

Differential diagnosis includes interstitial cystitis, tuberculous cystitis, and transitional cell carcinoma.

This brief case report describes an 18-year-old male who present with bladder inflammation and scarring after abusing ketamine for 3 years.  Symptoms improved rapidly when he ceased exposure to ketamine.  The paper has good images of the intravenous urogram, cystoscopy, and bladder biopsy.

Related posts:

Ketamine abuse scars and damages the lower urinary tract

Clinical features of ketamine abuse in Hong Kong



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