What is the role of a urine dipstick test in the workup of pediatric urinary tract infection (UTI)?

Updated: Mar 19, 2019
  • Author: Donna J Fisher, MD; Chief Editor: Russell W Steele, MD  more...
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In a study of 6394 febrile infants aged 1-90 days, Glissmeyer and colleagues found evidence that urine dipstick testing alone may provide an adequate initial UTI screen, comparing well in terms of positive predictive value and specificity with urine microscopy alone or both tests combined. [17, 18] UTI was diagnosed in 770 (12%) of the study’s infants. Although the different screens each had a negative predictive value of more than 98%, the dipstick screen had a higher positive predictive value (66.8%) than did the combined test (51.2%) or microscopy alone (58.6%). [17, 18]

The dipstick test by itself also had a higher specificity (93.8%) compared with the combined test (87.6%) or microscopy (91.3%), although it did have a lower sensitivity than the combined test (90.8% vs 94.7%, respectively.) [17, 18]

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