New-Onset Bladder Symptoms in Discharged COVID Patients
September 10, 2021
New-onset bladder symptoms can affect men and women who have been hospitalized with COVID-19, according to a case series presented at the American Urological Association (AUA) 2021 Annual Meeting.
Many COVID-19 patients discharged from the hospital have reported severe first-time genitourinary symptoms, including increased frequency, urgency, and nocturia that can cause patients to wake up five time a night, Michael B. Chancellor, MD, a urologist at the Beaumont Health System in Royal Oak, Michigan, said during a press briefing.
"We were the first US group to identify severe and bothersome de novo genitourinary symptoms in patients with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection, termed COVID-19 associate cystitis (CAC). We then sought to determine if this was associated with pro-inflammatory cytokines in the urine of patients," he and his colleagues write in their abstract.
For their study, the researchers compared 53 patients who had been discharged in recent weeks after a COVID-19 hospitalization and were reporting new-onset urinary symptoms (average age, 65 years) with 12 asymptomatic control subjects.
The majority of participants reporting bladder symptoms had no evidence of SARS-CoV-2 in their urine.
However, Luminex assays showed that levels of inflammatory cytokines — including growth-regulated oncogene-alpha, interleukin-6, interferon-gamma–inducible protein 10, and C-reactive protein — were significantly higher in urine samples from COVID-19 patients, especially those with CAC, than from control subjects.
"That was very surprising," Chancellor said, adding that it could indicate long COVID. "We really need to follow these patients to see if COVID-associated cystitis will stay" with them.
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