Is urethral catheterization a successful alternative to suprapubic aspiration in neonates?

J Paediatr Child Health. 1999 Feb;35(1):34-6. doi: 10.1046/j.1440-1754.1999.00305.x.


Objective: To compare urine collection by urethral catheterization with suprapubic aspiration in a neonatal intensive care unit.

Methodology: All urine collections were documented, the collection methods attempted recorded and success rates calculated. The incidence of contaminated specimens was determined. The infants ranged in weight from 570 g to 4180 g and in gestation from 24 to 44 weeks.

Results: Thirty-two out of 65 (49%) suprapubic aspirations were successful. Overall 33/42 (77%) of catheterizations were successful, 12/18 (67%) were successful when following an unsuccessful SPA. No SPA was contaminated compared to 7/22 (22%) of the catheter specimens. Urinary tract infection was present in 4/63 (6.3%) infants. There were no complications following catheterization.

Conclusions: Urethral catheterization is a useful and safe alternative to suprapubic aspiration, but suprapubic aspiration remains the method of first choice.

MeSH terms

  • Cystostomy / instrumentation
  • Cystostomy / methods*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intensive Care, Neonatal
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Specimen Handling / instrumentation
  • Specimen Handling / methods*
  • Suction / instrumentation
  • Suction / methods*
  • Urinary Catheterization / instrumentation
  • Urinary Catheterization / methods*
  • Urinary Tract Infections / microbiology
  • Urinary Tract Infections / urine*