How to use… urine dipsticks

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‘Urine dipstick’, the commonly used point-of-care test, is an extremely sensitive investigation. Results of this test affected by numerous factors, if not meticulously linked with detailed history and examination, can lead a well-meaning clinician down the wrong clinical pathway. The aim of this article is to provide an overview of this every day test, touching on the physiological and technological basis initially, but mainly focusing on common questions like when to request the dipstick test, the correlation of dipstick results with urine specimen collected by different method and complexities of interpretation of dipstick results in everyday clinical scenarios.

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