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Does Cranberry Have a Role in Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infections?

Thomas D; Rutman M; Cooper K; Abrams A; Finkelstein J; Chughtai B.
Canadian Urological Association Journal. 11(11):E421-E424

INTRODUCTION: Catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CA-UTIs) are a prevalent and costly condition, with very few therapeutic options. We sought to evaluate the efficacy of an oral cranberry supplement on CA-UTIs over a six-month period. METHODS: Subjects with long-term indwelling catheters and recurrent symptomatic CA-UTIs were enrolled to take a once-daily oral cranberry supplement with 36 mg of the active ingredient proanthocyanidin (PACs). Primary outcome was reducing the number of symptomatic CA-UTIs. This was defined by >=103 (cfu)/mL of >=1 bacterial species in a single catheter urine specimen and signs and symptoms compatible with CA-UTI. Secondary outcomes included bacterial counts and resistance patterns to antibiotics. RESULTS: Thirty-four patients were enrolled in the trial; 22 patients (mean age 77.22 years, 77.27% were men) completed the study. Cranberry was effective in reducing the number of symptomatic CA-UTIs in all patients (n=22). Resistance to antibiotics was reduced by 28%. Furthermore, colony counts were reduced by 58.65%. No subjects had adverse events while taking cranberry. CONCLUSIONS: The cranberry supplement reduced the number of symptomatic CA-UTIs, antibiotic resistances, and major causative organisms in this cohort. Larger, placebo-controlled studies are needed to further define the role of cranberry in CA-UTIs.