Electrofulguration in the advanced management of antibiotic-refractory recurrent urinary tract infections in women

Joseph J. Crivelli, Feras Alhalabi, Philippe E. Zimmern

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Objective: To evaluate the long-term efficacy of electrofulguration in women with recurrent urinary tract infections. Methods: After institutional review board approval, a retrospective study of women who underwent electrofulguration alone was carried out. All patients had recurrent urinary tract infections defined as three or more urinary tract infections/year, and a preoperative office cystoscopy showing inflammatory lesions, categorized by location: urethra, bladder neck, trigone and beyond the trigone. All lesions were cauterized during outpatient electrofulguration under anesthesia. On 6-month postoperative office cystoscopy, endoscopic success was defined as resolution of all lesions previously seen and no new lesions. The primary outcome was urinary tract infections/year, with urinary tract infection defined as antibiotic treatment for urinary tract infection-like symptoms and/or for positive urine culture. Clinical cure was defined as no further urinary tract infections, clinical improvement as less than three urinary tract infections/year, and clinical failure as three or more urinary tract infections/year. Results: Of 95 women who met the study criteria between 2004 and 2016, 62 (65%) were endoscopically successful, and 33 (35%) were endoscopic failures based on postoperative cystoscopy. Among all patients, over a median follow-up period of 4.9 years, the median number of urinary tract infections/year was 0.8. Endoscopically successful patients had fewer urinary tract infections/year compared with endoscopic failures (0.6 vs 0.9, P = 0.03). Clinically, 14 (15%) patients were cured, 69 (73%) were improved and 12 (13%) failed. Compared with clinically improved patients, clinical failures were more likely to have infections with multiple organisms (92% vs 35%, P < 0.001) and highly resistant organisms (92% vs 23%, P < 0.001). Conclusions: In our experience, nearly two-thirds of women with recurrent urinary tract infection can be successfully treated with electrofulguration, and >80% experience long-term clinical cure or improvement in urinary tract infections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)662-668
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Urology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2019


  • cystitis
  • electrofulguration
  • female urology
  • recurrent urinary tract infections
  • trigonitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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