Utility of point-of-care Gram stain by physicians for urinary tract infection in children ≤36 months

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Urinary tract infection (UTI) in children requires early diagnosis and treatment to prevent repeated UTI and renal scarring. This study aimed to evaluate the usefulness of the point-of-care Gram stain by physicians for suspected UTI in children at Okinawa Chubu Hospital as a rapid diagnostic test.A single-center, retrospective study was undertaken between January 2011 and December 2015. Patients aged 36 months or younger who were reviewed had suspected UTI in the emergency room or outpatient clinic. Urine culture, urinalysis, and point-of-care Gram stain were performed on a single specimen. Patients with structural or functional urological defects requiring routine catheterization were excluded. We compared the diagnostic performance among the rapid diagnostic tests (i.e., pyuria, point-of-care Gram stain, or both). Kappa statistics were used to evaluate the agreement between the results of point-of-care Gram stain and morphotypes of urine culture with the 95% CI (bias corrected bootstrap interval). We also analyzed which antibiotics were more susceptible to the bacteria of urine culture results, selected by the results of point-of-care Gram stain or empirical treatment based on the Japanese guidelines by McNemar test.Of 1594 patients reviewed in the study, 1546 were eligible according to our inclusion criteria. Using urine culture as the gold standard for UTI, the sensitivity and specificity of pyuria were 73.2% and 95.1%, whereas those of the point-of-care Gram stain were 81.4% and 98.2%, respectively. The concordance rate between the morphotypes of bacteria detected by point-of-care Gram stain and those of urine culture was 0.784 (kappa coefficient) (95% CI 0.736–0.831). Furthermore, the proportion of “susceptible” in the minimum inhibitory concentration of pathogen-targeted treatment based on the point-of-care Gram stain was higher than that of empirical therapy (exact McNemar significance probability: .0001).Our analysis suggests that the point-of-care Gram stain is a useful rapid diagnostic tool for suspected UTI in young children. Pathogen-targeted treatment based on the point-of-care Gram stain would lead to better antibiotic selection compared with empirical therapy.

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