Evaluation of chlorhexidine in the detection of bacteriuria in pregnancy

  • Chukwunwendu A Okonkwo University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria
  • Eugene E Okpere
  • Babatunde A Ande


Context: Urine culture is the gold standard for diagnosing bacteriuria in pregnancy, which is a very serious condition with a lot of consequences to both mother and foetus. Several chemical tests can equally be used to detect presence of bacteria in urine.

Objective: The aim of this study was to determine the accuracy of chlorhexidine solution in detecting significant bacteriuria in pregnancy

Methods:This was a cross- sectional study in which patients with urinary tract infection had their urine samples tested with chlorhexidine and bacteriological method. The predictive value method was used to compare both methods.

Results: A total of seventy-five (75) patients had clinically diagnosed urinary tract infection. Of these, only twelve (16%) were confirmed by bacteriology. Chlorhexidine detected all of these patients with laboratory- confirmed urinary tract infection and also detected other patents with abnormal components in their urine. Sensitivity was 100%, accuracy 40% and a specificity of 28.5% . The low specificity was due to the fact that chlorhexidine solution cross-reacts with bacteria and other major components of urine when present in significant amount.

Conclusion: The Chlorhexidine Reaction is of little value in detecting bacteriuria per se, but it is useful for detecting other anomalies such as the presence of epithelial cells, crystals and pus cells. The test is however recommended for use as a screening tool for urinary tract infection in pregnancy because of its high sensitivity, cost effectiveness and its ease of performance.

Keywords: evaluation, chlorhexidine, bacteriuria, pregnancy

Tropical Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Vol. 23(1) 2006: 14-16

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eISSN: 0189-5117