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April 1, 1974

Positive Foley Catheter Tip Cultures—Fact or Fancy?

Author Affiliations

From the medical, nursing, laboratory, and surgical services, VA Hospital, West Haven, Conn, and the departments of internal medicine and surgery, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn.

JAMA. 1974;228(1):72-73. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230260046024

Forty of 42 patients had positive Foley catheter tip cultures, but only 14 had significant numbers of bacteria in a urine specimen obtained the same day. In these 14 patients, a 98% probability existed that at least one organism from the catheter tip culture would not grow in a simultaneous urine culture. The predictive value of the tip cultures was nonexistent; presence of most organisms in the tip probably represented contamination from the urethra.

(JAMA 228:72-73, 1974)