Dipstick Urinalysis as a Screening Tool in the Diagnosis of Urinary Tract Infection in Children.

  • GK Eke
  • IC Anochie
  • FU Eke
Keywords: Dipstick urinalysis, Screening tool

Abstract

Urinary tract infection (UTI), a significant but preventable cause of morbidity in children, is an important risk factor for development of renal insufficiency. Having simple and reliable means of screening children facilitate its prompt treatment.To evaluate the use of dipstick test for leukocyte esterase (LE) and nitrite as screening tool in the diagnosis of UTI in children.This cross-sectional study was done in the department of Paediatrics, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH) from February to October 2005. Children 2 to 15 years with symptoms suggestive of UTI were studied. Midstream urine specimen was collected from each patient forLEtest, nitrite test and culture.Out of 139 children, 72(51.8 percent) males and 67(48.2 percent) females studied, 33(23.7 percent) had positive urine culture. The prevalence of UTI was significantly higher in females than in males (p=0.001). The LE dipstick test correctly identified 17 of the 33 patients with culture proven UTI, with 51.5 percent sensitivity and 79.2 percent specificity. The nitrite dipstick test showed 42.4 percent sensitivity and 93.3 percent specificity. The combination ofLEand nitrite correctly identified 24, giving 73 percent sensitivity and 75.5 percent specificity. The LE seemed to have a higher sensitivity as a screening tool in the diagnosis of UTI than nitrite, but the difference was not statistically significant (p=0.46). However, the combination of LE and nitrite provided a higher sensitivity than either of them with a statistically significant difference (p=0.04).

Key words: Dipstick urinalysis, Screening tool

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