Performing a urine dipstick test with a clean-catch urine sample is an accurate screening method for urinary tract infections in young infants

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Abstract

Aim

This study evaluated using urine dipstick tests with the clean-catch method to screen for urinary tract infection (UTI) in febrile infants under 90 days of age.

Methods

We carried out a comparative diagnostic accuracy study of infants under 90 days old, who were studied for unexplained fever without any source, in the emergency room of a hospital in Madrid from January 2011 to January 2013. We obtained matched samples of urine using two different methods: a clean-catch, standardised stimulation technique and catheterisation collection. The results of the leucocyte esterase test and nitrite test were compared with their urine cultures.

Results

We obtained 60 pairs of matched samples. A combined analysis of leukocyte esterase and, or, nitrites yielded a sensitivity of 86% and a specificity of 80% for the diagnosis of UTIs in clean-catch samples. The sensitivity of leukocyte esterase and, or, nitrites in samples obtained by catheterisation were not statistically different to the clean-catch samples (p = 0.592).

Conclusion

Performing urine dipstick tests using urine samples obtained by the clean-catch method was an accurate screening test for diagnosing UTIs in febrile infants of less than 90 days old. This provided a good alternative to bladder catheterisation when screening for UTIs.

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