Diagnosis of urinary tract infections in children

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

22 Scopus citations


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Urinary tract infections remain a significant cause of serious bacterial infections in children and can result in chronic kidney disease. Thus, prompt diagnosis and initiation of treatment of urinary tract infections are paramount objectives. RECENT FINDINGS: A number of advances in technology have allowed expeditious examination of the urine. Recent meta-analyses evaluated the ability of these tests to determine the presence or absence of urinary tract infection in children. In addition, understanding the prevalence of urinary tract infection in various populations will help guide the clinician to the appropriate level of suspicion and the appropriate work-up for urinary tract infection. SUMMARY: Although culture of the urine remains the gold standard for diagnosing and treating urinary tract infections, technical considerations including method of collection of the urine as well as the time necessary for culture results remain problematic. More rapid techniques include dipstick analyses for the presence of leukocyte esterase or nitrites, microscopic analysis for white blood cells or bacteria, and automated urine cell analyzer to determine bacterial and white blood cell counts in the urine. Recent results indicate it is possible to limit the number of urine cultures performed by eliminating those that have a low probability of being positive. In addition, recent studies reexamining the prevalence of urinary tract infections in various populations indicate that diagnostic testing can be aimed at those patients who are in the higher-risk groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)194-198
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent opinion in pediatrics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2009


  • Leukocyte esterase
  • Nitrites
  • Urine culture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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