Evaluation of dysuria in adults

Am Fam Physician. 2002 Apr 15;65(8):1589-96.

Abstract

Dysuria, defined as pain, burning, or discomfort on urination, is more common in women than in men. Although urinary tract infection is the most frequent cause of dysuria, empiric treatment with antibiotics is not always appropriate. Dysuria occurs more often in younger women, probably because of their greater frequency of sexual activity. Older men are more likely to have dysuria because of an increased incidence of prostatic hyperplasia with accompanying inflammation and infection. A comprehensive history and physical examination can often reveal the cause of dysuria. Urinalysis may not be needed in healthier patients who have uncomplicated medical histories and symptoms. In most patients, however, urinalysis can help to determine the presence of infection and confirm a suspected diagnosis. Urine cultures and both urethral and vaginal smears and cultures can help to identify sites of infection and causative agents. Coliform organisms, notably Escherichia coli, are the most common pathogens in urinary tract infection. Dysuria can also be caused by noninfectious inflammation or trauma, neoplasm, calculi, hypoestrogenism, interstitial cystitis, or psychogenic disorders. Although radiography and other forms of imaging are rarely needed, these studies may identify abnormalities in the upper urinary tract when symptoms are more complex.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Algorithms
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Diagnostic Imaging
  • Diagnostic Tests, Routine
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medical History Taking
  • Middle Aged
  • Physical Examination
  • Urinalysis
  • Urinary Tract Infections / complications
  • Urination Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Urination Disorders / etiology*