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J Clin Pathol. Dec 2001; 54(12): 911–919.
PMCID: PMC1731340

ACP Best Practice No 167


Urinary tract infection is common, and it is not surprising that urine specimens make up a large proportion of those samples submitted to the routine diagnostic laboratory. Many of these specimens will show no evidence of infection and several methods can be used to screen out negative samples. Those that grow bacteria need to be carefully assessed to quantify the degree of bacteriuria and hence clinical relevance. To influence treatment, a final report should be produced within 24 hours of specimen receipt, with turnaround times continuously monitored. Much work needs to be done to determine the cost effectiveness involved in processing urine specimens and the evidence base for the final report provided.

Key Words: laboratory diagnosis • urinary tract infection

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Selected References

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Figures and Tables

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Figure 1 Guidelines on the use of dipsticks in clinical practice.

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