Preoperative Urine Cultures at a Veterans Affairs Medical Center | Nephrology | JAMA Internal Medicine | JAMA Network
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Research Letter
Less Is More
Jan 14, 2013

Preoperative Urine Cultures at a Veterans Affairs Medical Center

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Health Care System, Minneapolis, Minnesota (Drs Drekonja and Johnson), and Department of Medicine (Drs Drekonja and Johnson) and School of Medicine (Ms Zarmbinski), University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.

JAMA Intern Med. 2013;173(1):71-72. doi:10.1001/2013.jamainternmed.834

The value of preoperative urine screening is unproven, except before urologic procedures, in which detection and treatment of asymptomatic bacteriuria is beneficial.1 Despite this, authors of multiple small case series advocate for screening before nonurologic procedures.2-5 However, patients with detected bacteriuria may undergo further testing6 and, if prescribed antimicrobial drugs, can develop diarrhea, allergic reactions, and Clostridium difficile infection (CDI).7 In addition, treatment of bacteriuria can delay procedures and extend hospitalization. Accordingly, we reviewed the medical records of patients who underwent cardiothoracic, orthopedic, and vascular procedures to document (1) the frequency of preoperative culture (UC) use, (2) the frequency of consequent antimicrobial therapy, and (3) any effect of preoperative urine screening, or consequent antimicrobial therapy, on postoperative complications.