Purple Urine Bag Syndrome as the Primary Presenting Feature of a Urinary Tract Infection

Cureus. 2022 Apr 9;14(4):e23970. doi: 10.7759/cureus.23970. eCollection 2022 Apr.


Purple urine bag syndrome (PUBS) is a curious condition that manifests with purple discoloration of a urinary catheter bag as a result of a urinary tract infection (UTI). This syndrome is produced through a reaction between urinary by-products and the components of a plastic urinary catheter bag. Predisposing factors include old age, long-term catheterization, chronic constipation, and limited mobility. We describe a case of a UTI in a 90-year-old woman in which the initial presentation was PUBS. Here, late recognition of PUBS led to delayed treatment of the associated UTI. Despite being a simple spot diagnosis, knowledge about this uncommon syndrome is lacking amongst clinicians and this may have implications on patient outcomes.

Keywords: case report; delirium; infection; purple urine bag syndrome; rare; urinary catheter; uti.

Publication types

  • Case Reports