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February 1987

An Accurate Method to Obtain Urine for Culture in Men With External Catheters

Author Affiliations

From the Divisions of Geriatric Medicine (Dr Ouslander) and Infectious Diseases (Dr Silverblatt), the Department of Medicine (Drs Ouslander and Silverblatt), and the Microbiology Section, Laboratory Service (Dr Garcia), Veterans Administration Medical Center, Sepulveda, Calif. Dr Ouslander is presently with the Mason F. Lord Chronic Hospital and Nursing Facility, Baltimore.

Arch Intern Med. 1987;147(2):286-288. doi:10.1001/archinte.1987.00370020104045

• Results of urine cultures from 26 male nursing home patients wearing external catheters, collected by a simple standardized technique, were compared with culture results from the same patients obtained by sterile in-and-out catheterization. The culture results were the same in 22 (85%) of the matched specimens, and specimens collected by the standardized technique were 100% sensitive and 94% specific in detecting significant growth of pathogenic organisms. In contrast, 13 (57%) of 23 specimens collected from patients with external catheters by the nursing home staff using their routine technique yielded three or more organisms and were considered contaminated. These results suggest that it is possible to obtain a urine specimen that reflects bladder urine in the vast majority of patients with external catheters, and thus potentially avoid the need for in-and-out catheterization when diagnosing and planning treatment for urinary tract infections in this population.

(Arch Intern Med 1987;147:286-288)

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