Urine sampling in ambulatory women: midstream clean-catch versus catheterization

Ann Emerg Med. 1989 Feb;18(2):166-72. doi: 10.1016/s0196-0644(89)80108-8.


We conducted a study to determine if there were any significant differences in urinalyses or urine cultures obtained by midstream clean-catch (MSCC) urine sampling in comparison with in-and-out catheterization (CATH). One hundred five women with symptoms suggestive of a urinary tract infection were studied prospectively. Each woman had a MSCC urine sample obtained initially, followed by a CATH sample. The MSCC and CATH urine samples were analyzed and compared for urine culture, leukocyte esterase, nitrites, microscopic bacteriuria, and pyuria. Of the 105 patients, 42 (40%) had a culture-proven urinary tract infection. The concordance rates between MSCC and CATH urine cultures, nitrites, leukocyte esterase, significant microscopic bacteriuria, and pyuria were 96%, 94%, 93%, 90%, and 90%, respectively. There were no statistically significant differences between MSCC and CATH sensitivities, specificities, or positive or negative predictive values for any urinalysis variable (leukocyte esterase, nitrites, significant microscopic bacteriuria, or pyuria). We conclude that if proper MSCC technique is used, the differences between MSCC and CATH urinalyses or urine cultures do not appear to be significant in the majority of ambulatory women without active vaginal bleeding who present with symptoms suggestive of a urinary tract infection.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Ambulatory Care
  • Bacteriuria / microbiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prospective Studies
  • Specimen Handling / methods*
  • Urinary Catheterization*
  • Urinary Tract Infections / urine*