Moving from bag to catheter for urine collection in non-toilet-trained children suspected of having urinary tract infection: a paired comparison of urine cultures

J Pediatr. 2009 Jun;154(6):803-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2009.01.008. Epub 2009 Apr 17.


Objective: To compare, in the same children, urine culture results from bag- versus catheter-obtained specimens with catheter culture as the reference.

Study design: A total of 192 non-toilet-trained children <3 years of age from 2 emergency departments were recruited for this prospective cross-sectional study. All had positive urinalysis results from bag-obtained specimens that were systematically checked with a catheter-obtained specimen before treatment. Results of comparison of urine cultures obtained with these 2 collecting methods are presented.

Results: A total of 7.5% of bag-obtained specimen positive cultures had false-positive results. Twenty-nine percent of bag-obtained specimen cultures with negative results were false negative. Altogether, bag-obtained specimens led to either a misdiagnosis or an impossible diagnosis in 40% of cases versus 5.7% when urethral catheterization was used.

Conclusion: Every bag-obtained positive-result urinalysis should be confirmed with a more reliable method before therapy.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Child, Preschool
  • Diagnostic Errors
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Male
  • Specimen Handling / instrumentation
  • Specimen Handling / methods*
  • Urinary Catheterization*
  • Urinary Tract Infections / diagnosis*
  • Urine / cytology
  • Urine / microbiology*