How safe is 1% alum irrigation in controlling intractable vesical hemorrhage?

A K Goswami, R K Mahajan, R Nath, S K Sharma
Journal of Urology 1993, 149 (2): 264-7
A prospective study was done to evaluate the efficacy and safety of intravesical instillation of 1% alum solution in 12 cases of hematuria of vesical origin, uncontrolled by saline irrigation for 24 hours via a 3-way Foley catheter. There were 10 cases of transitional cell carcinoma and 2 of radiation cystitis. Complete response was noted in 6 patients and a partial response in 4. Local side effects included suprapubic pain and vesical tenesmus, which were controlled by antispasmodic and/or analgesic drugs. Transient low grade pyrexia (maximum up to 38.2C) was noted in 4 patients. Among the other various clinical and biochemical parameters, serum aluminum level and prothrombin time showed statistically highly significant changes. Serum aluminum increased from an average baseline value of 1.68 to 3.36 mumol./l. without clinical evidence of aluminum toxicity and with levels well below the recommended safe limit. Prothrombin time increased parallel with the increase in serum aluminum level to a maximum of 1 1/2 times the control. Prothrombin values, therefore, can be used clinically, since they are readily obtainable whereas serum aluminum levels are not. Vesical irrigation with 1% alum solution is a safe method to control hematuria of vesical origin in properly selected cases.

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