Flow meter urine testing: a practical proposition in patients attending for urodynamics?

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To find a practical way of detecting urinary tract infection (UTI) before invasive urodynamic testing, as UTIs after urodynamics are well documented, but there are no standard guidelines about when urine should be analysed before urodynamics.


Before urodynamics all patients are asked to provide a free urine flow; the patient is then catheterized to obtain a catheter-specimen of urine that is tested for infection by a urine dipstick. If the dipstick is found positive for nitrites and/or leukocytes, the test is abandoned and the sample sent for microscopy, culture and sensitivity. In the present study, patients were asked to provide a free urine flow into the flowmeter as usual. Between patients, the flowmeter was washed with soap and water and dried, so that there would be no cross-contamination between patients' urine results. Urine was collected as usual and tested using a dipstick, the patient was then catheterized and another dipstick test done on the catheter specimen of urine (CSU), to compare results.


Pairs of urine samples, when positive for nitrite were 100% consistent, and 89% of pairs positive for leukocytes were the same before and after catheterization. The remaining 11% (all women) of the positive leukocyte group had leukocytosis on testing the flowmeter urine but not on the CSU, possibly due to contamination from the vagina.


Testing urine by dipstick in the sample from the flowmeter is a feasible option, thus saving the patient an inappropriate catheterization, with the risk of bacteraemia during urodynamics, and allowing the flowrate to be measured.

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