Objective: To test whether urethral catheterization (UC) is better than suprapubic bladder aspiration (SPA) as a method for collection of sterile urine in neonates.
Methods: Thirty-three babies, requiring sterile collection of urine, were randomly assigned to either urethral catheterization (n=16), median gestation 28+/-3.9 weeks, median birth weight 968 g (range 650-4100) or SPA (n=17), median gestation 26+/-5.6 weeks, median birth weight 926 g (range 771-4070). The primary outcome was success in obtaining urine. Secondary outcomes were complications and urine culture results.
Results: Some urine was obtained in 11 (64.7%) babies in the SPA group and in 13 (81.2%) babies in the catheter group. Sufficient urine for analysis (>0.5 ml) was obtained in 10 (58.8%) in the SPA group versus 5 (31.2%) babies in the catheter group. There were more contaminated specimens in the catheter group but this was not significant in this small study.
Conclusions: In this small randomized controlled trial urethral catheterization offered no significant advantage over SPA.