Turbidimetric urine screening

Br J Biomed Sci. 1995 Mar;52(1):71-3.


Several studies have shown that urine clarity can be used as an infection screening method. Previous publications have involved patients from specific clinics or of specific age groups, and turbidimetric assessment has often been subjective and unscientific in nature. In this study all specimen types and sources with the exception of catheterised samples were included. Turbidimetric readings were performed using a double-beam turbidimeter, followed by quantitative microscopy and culture. Clinical significance was assessed using a combination of culture results, microscopy and clinical details. Performance varied in relation to the chosen turbidity threshold level, but at a sensitivity of 94.1%, 55.7% of samples could be discarded as 'screen-negative'. The rapid nature of this screening method, combined with the ability subsequently to concentrate resources on the remaining 'screen-positive' samples, can result in an improved service at reduced cost.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Bacteriological Techniques
  • Child, Preschool
  • False Negative Reactions
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nephelometry and Turbidimetry / methods*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Urinalysis / methods*
  • Urinary Tract Infections / diagnosis*