Current Bladder Dysfunction Reports

, Volume 14, Issue 2, pp 58–66 | Cite as

Effects and Complications of Intravesical Instillation of Bacillus Calmette-Guerin Therapy

  • J. Spencer Keith
  • Mahmoud I. Khalil
  • Mohamed H. Kamel
  • Rodney Davis
  • Ehab EltahawyEmail author
Inflammatory/Infectious Bladder Disorders (MS Mourad, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Inflammatory/Infectious Bladder Disorders


Purpose of Review

This review will address the current literature available regarding complications after intravesical Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) therapy for bladder cancer. Topics include intravesical BCG therapy–related complications, role of BCG therapy in immunosuppression, and future directions in the context of BCG-related complications.

Recent Findings

There are several new reviews and case reports discussing unique complications following intravesical BCG therapy that should raise awareness of possible short-term and long-term effects after using this common treatment modality in bladder cancer patients.


Since intravesical BCG is a common treatment option for non-muscle invasive bladder cancer and can cause a variety of complications, it is important to recognize this aspect of the patient’s history when evaluating patients who present with symptoms similar to the ones discussed in this review. This will allow for prompt delivery of treatment as well as preventing unnecessary morbidity and mortality.


Intravesical Bacillus Calmette-Guerin therapy BCG Non-muscle invasive bladder cancer Immunosuppression BCG complications 



Acid-fast bacilli


Acute kidney injury




Bacillus Calmette-Guerin


Carcinoma in situ


Chronic kidney disease




Liver function tests


Lower urinary tract symptoms




Non-muscle invasive bladder cancer


Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs




Transurethral resection


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Spencer Keith
    • 1
  • Mahmoud I. Khalil
    • 1
  • Mohamed H. Kamel
    • 1
  • Rodney Davis
    • 1
  • Ehab Eltahawy
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of UrologyUniversity of Arkansas for Medical SciencesLittle RockUSA

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