Urinary Tract Infection

In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan.


An uncomplicated urinary tract infection (UTI) is a bacterial infection of the bladder and associated structures. These are patients with no structural abnormality and no comorbidities, such as diabetes, immunocompromised state, or pregnancy. Uncomplicated UTI is also known as cystitis or lower UTI. Bacteriuria alone does not constitute a UTI without symptoms. Typical symptoms include urinary frequency, urgency, suprapubic discomfort and dysuria. Forty percent of women in the United States will develop a UTI during their lifetime, making it one of the most common infections in women. UTIs are uncommon in circumcised males, and by definition, any male UTI is usually considered complicated.

Many cases of uncomplicated UTIs will resolve spontaneously, without treatment, but many patients seek therapy for symptom relief. Treatment is aimed at preventing spread to the kidneys or developing into upper tract disease/pyelonephritis, which can cause the destruction of the delicate structures in the nephrons and eventually lead to hypertension.

E.coli causes the vast majority of UTIs but other organisms of importance include proteus, klebsiella, and enterococcus. The diagnosis of UTI is made from the clinical history (symptoms) and urinalysis with confirmation by a urine culture, but the proper collection of the urine sample is important.

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