CUHK Study: Ketamine Abuse In Young Reduces Bladder Capacity
By Rebecca Lim | Health & Medicine
August 28, 2011
Researchers have found that the majority of young people with history of ketamine abuse have a reduced bladder capacity of up to 37 percent.
AsianScientist (Aug. 28, 2011) – The Division of Urology of the Department of Surgery at The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) has found that the majority of young people with history of ketamine abuse have a reduced bladder capacity.
66 young people (76 percent males, 24 percent females) with history of ketamine abuse had their lower urinary tract function evaluated using the Pelvic Pain, Urgency and Frequency (PUF) questionnaire, uroflowmetry, and ultrasonography.
The PUF questionnaire consisted of eight self-report items that helped to evaluate the presence and severity of chronic pelvic pain and lower urinary tract symptoms. The average age of the participants was 18 years and use of multiple drugs was reported by 81 percent of the subjects.
“The normal urinary bladder capacity is 400-500 ml. In ketamine users who were taking 3 doses weekly, 4 doses weekly and more than five doses weekly, the urinary bladder volume were 203.2 ml, 199.6 ml, and 189.5 ml respectively.”
“Small bladder capacity can lead to urinary urgency, frequency, pelvic pain and urinary incontinence symptoms,” said Dr. Mak Siu King, principal investigator and CUHK Honorary Clinical Assistant Professor of Division of Urology.
The study also found that the average bladder capacity of young people who had quit ketamine for more than one year was 387 ml compared to an average of 243 ml in those who had just quit, demonstrating the recovery potential of the urinary bladder. However not every damaged bladder has the potential to fully recover its original capacity after cessation of ketamine abuse.
Urinary symptoms also appeared to decrease the longer an individual remained ketamine-free.
Youth drug abuse problem in Hong Kong’s North District has fallen significantly in the last three years, from 261 cases to 161 cases under the age of 21.
Part of the decline could be attributed to the work of an outreach clinic set up in 2009 by a team of multi-disciplinary volunteer health professionals. These professionals collaborated with local social workers to screen youth with a history of ketamine abuse. Screening results were used to help abusers understand the detrimental effects of drug abuse and might have motivated them to quit.
The study results were presented in the American Urological Association Annual Meeting, San Francisco, California in May 2010 and published in the August 2011 issue of the Journal of Urology.
The article can be found at: Mak S. K. et al.(2011) Lower Urinary Tract Changes in Young Adults Using Ketamine.
Source: The Chinese University of Hong Kong.
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