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Effectiveness of Preanalytic Practices on Contamination and Diagnostic Accuracy of Urine Cultures: a Laboratory Medicine Best Practices Systematic Review and Meta-analysis
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Details:
  • Pubmed ID:
    26598386
  • Pubmed Central ID:
    PMC4771218
  • Description:
    Background.

    Urinary tract infection (UTI) in the United States is the most common bacterial infection, and urine cultures often make up the largest portion of workload for a hospital-based microbiology laboratory. Appropriately managing the factors affecting the preanalytic phase of urine culture contributes significantly to the generation of meaningful culture results that ultimately affect patient diagnosis and management. Urine culture contamination can be reduced with proper techniques for urine collection, preservation, storage, and transport, the major factors affecting the preanalytic phase of urine culture.

    Objectives.

    The purposes of this review were to identify and evaluate preanalytic practices associated with urine specimens and to assess their impact on the accuracy of urine culture microbiology. Specific practices included collection methods for men, women, and children; preservation of urine samples in boric acid solutions; and the effect of refrigeration on stored urine. Practice efficacy and effectiveness were measured by two parameters: reduction of urine culture contamination and increased accuracy of patient diagnosis. The CDC Laboratory Medicine Best Practices (LMBP) initiative's systematic review method for assessment of quality improvement (QI) practices was employed. Results were then translated into evidence-based practice guidelines.

    Search strategy.

    A search of three electronic bibliographic databases (PubMed, SCOPUS, and CINAHL), as well as hand searching of bibliographies from relevant information sources, for English-language articles published between 1965 and 2014 was conducted.

    Selection criteria.

    The search contained the following medical subject headings and key text words: urinary tract infections, UTI, urine/analysis, urine/microbiology, urinalysis, specimen handling, preservation, biological, preservation, boric acid, boric acid/borate, refrigeration, storage, time factors, transportation, transport time, time delay, time factor, timing, urine specimen collection, catheters, indwelling, urinary reservoirs, continent, urinary catheterization, intermittent urethral catheterization, clean voided, midstream, Foley, suprapubic, bacteriological techniques, and microbiological techniques.

    Main results.

    Both boric acid and refrigeration adequately preserved urine specimens prior to their processing for up to 24 h. Urine held at room temperature for more than 4 h showed overgrowth of both clinically significant and contaminating microorganisms. The overall strength of this body of evidence, however, was rated as low. For urine specimens collected from women, there was no difference in rates of contamination for midstream urine specimens collected with or without cleansing. The overall strength of this evidence was rated as high. The levels of diagnostic accuracy of midstream urine collection with or without cleansing were similar, although the overall strength of this evidence was rated as low. For urine specimens collected from men, there was a reduction in contamination in favor of midstream clean-catch over first-void specimen collection. The strength of this evidence was rated as high. Only one study compared midstream collection with cleansing to midstream collection without cleansing. Results showed no difference in contamination between the two methods of collection. However, imprecision was due largely to the small event size. The diagnostic accuracy of midstream urine collection from men compared to straight catheterization or suprapubic aspiration was high. However, the overall strength of this body of evidence was rated as low. For urine specimens collected from children and infants, the evidence comparing contamination rates for midstream urine collection with cleansing, midstream collection without cleansing, sterile urine bag collection, and diaper collection pointed to larger reductions in the odds of contamination in favor of midstream collection with cleansing over the other methods of collection. This body of evidence was rated as high. The accuracy of diagnosis of urinary tract infection from midstream clean-catch urine specimens, sterile urine bag specimens, or diaper specimens compared to straight catheterization or suprapubic aspiration was varied.

    Authors' conclusions.

    No recommendation for or against is made for delayed processing of urine stored at room temperature, refrigerated, or preserved in boric acid. This does not preclude the use of refrigeration or chemical preservatives in clinical practice. It does indicate, however, that more systematic studies evaluating the utility of these measures are needed. If noninvasive collection is being considered for women, midstream collection with cleansing is recommended, but no recommendation for or against is made for midstream collection without cleansing. If noninvasive collection is being considered for men, midstream collection with cleansing is recommended and collection of first-void urine is not recommended. No recommendation for or against is made for collection of midstream urine without cleansing. If noninvasive collection is being considered for children, midstream collection with cleansing is recommended and collection in sterile urine bags, from diapers, or midstream without cleansing is not recommended. Whether midstream collection with cleansing can be routinely used in place of catheterization or suprapubic aspiration is unclear. The data suggest that midstream collection with cleansing is accurate for the diagnosis of urinary tract infections in infants and children and has higher average accuracy than sterile urine bag collection (data for diaper collection were lacking); however, the overall strength of evidence was low, as multivariate modeling could not be performed, and thus no recommendation for or against can be made.

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