Urinary Tract Infections after Combat-Related Genitourinary Trauma

Stephen Y. Liang*, Brendan Jackson, Janis Kuhn, Faraz Shaikh, Dana M. Blyth, Timothy J. Whitman, Joseph L. Petfield, M. Leigh Carson, David R. Tribble, Jay R. McDonald

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: We examined clinical outcomes among combat casualties with genitourinary injuries after blast trauma. Methods: Characteristics, clinical care, urologic complications, and infections for subjects enrolled in the Trauma Infectious Disease Outcomes Study (TIDOS) were collected from Department of Defense (DOD) and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) sources. Logistic regression identified predictors for urinary tract infections (UTIs) after genitourinary trauma. Results: Among 530 TIDOS enrollees who entered VA care, 89 (17%) sustained genitourinary trauma. The majority of subjects (93%) were injured via a blast and 27% had a dismounted complex blast injury (DCBI). Sexual dysfunction was reported with 36% of subjects, whereas 14% had urinary retention/incontinence and 8% had urethral stricture. Urologic complications were comparable between patients with and without DCBIs. Nineteen (21%) subjects had one or more UTI with a total of 40 unique UTI events (25% during initial hospitalization and 75% during subsequent DOD or VA care). The UTI incidence rate was 0.89 per patient-year during initial hospitalization, 0.05 per patient-year during DOD follow-up, and 0.07 per patient-year during VA healthcare. Subjects with UTIs had a higher proportion of bladder injury (53% vs. 13%; p < 0.001), posterior urethral injury (26% vs. 1%; p = 0.001), pelvic fracture (47% vs. 4%; p < 0.001), soft-tissue infection of the pelvis/hip (37% vs. 4%; p = 0.001), urinary catheterization (47% vs. 11%; p < 0.001), urinary retention or incontinence (42% vs. 6%; p < 0.001), and stricture (26% vs. 3%; p = 0.004) compared with patients with genitourinary trauma and no UTI. Independent UTI risk factors were occurrence of a soft-tissue infection at the pelvis/hip, trauma to the urinary tract, and transtibial amputation. Conclusions: Among combat casualties with genitourinary trauma, UTIs are a common complication, particularly with severe blast injury and urologic sequelae. Episodes of UTIs typically occur early after the initial injury while in DOD care, however, recurrent infections may continue into long-term VA care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)611-618
Number of pages8
JournalSurgical Infections
Issue number8
StatePublished - Dec 2019


  • blast injury
  • combat trauma
  • combat-related infections
  • genitourinary trauma
  • urinary tract infections


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