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March 15, 1985

'Routine Urinalysis': Is the Dipstick Enough?

JAMA. 1985;253(11):1596-1600. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03350350090028

Results of this study indicated that a protein-negative, blood-negative dipstick result may be used to rule out the necessity for performing a microscopic examination in "routine urinalysis" only if one is willing to accept 13% false-negative results. On the other hand, a protein-, blood-, and leukocyte esterase-negative dipstick result was associated with 1.4% to 3.3% false-negative results. The high sensitivity of the leukocyte esterase— measuring dipstick for microscopically abnormal urine samples was dependent on its ability to detect small numbers of leukocytes only when interpreted five minutes after immersing it in the sample. Various approaches may be used by which these findings could be applied to produce cost savings and also protect the small number of patients who may have dipstick-negative, microscopically positive urine.

(JAMA 1985;253:1596-1600)