Send to

Choose Destination
Lancet. 1991 Sep 28;338(8770):767-70.

Diagnosis of urinary tract infection in children: fresh urine microscopy or culture?

Author information

Department of Child Health, Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle upon Tyne.


Fresh unspun and unstained urine specimens from 342 children with previous urinary tract infection (UTI) or symptoms compatible with a UTI were examined by microscopy at a magnification of x 400 in a mirrored counting chamber by a clinician, and sent for culture in a microbiology laboratory; 200 samples were also plated onto dip-slides. When microscopy and culture results were discrepant, further urine samples were collected until a diagnosis of UTI (24) or sterile urine (318) could be confirmed. Initial microscopy correctly identified 23 of 24 UTIs and 286 of 318 sterile urines; 1 false-positive result was caused by vaginal contamination with lactobacilli. 32 specimens (9%) gave an equivocal result on microscopy; the 1 other true-positive result was identified correctly on microscopy of the next urine specimen obtained. Culture of the initial urines correctly identified all 24 UTIs, but only 82% of the negative samples. Of the samples from uninfected children, 35 (11%) showed a mixed growth which was sterile on repeat sampling, and 21 (6.6%) initially grew a false-positive pure growth of more than 10(5) colony-forming units/ml of one organism. True UTIs were associated with bacterial counts above 10(7)/ml. Microscopy by a clinician represents a cheaper, quicker, and more reliable screening test for UTI in children than does routine culture in a microbiology laboratory.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center