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Case Reports in Infectious Diseases
Volume 2013, Article ID 863853, 3 pages
Case Report

Purple Urine Bag Syndrome May Not Be Benign: A Case Report and Brief Review of the Literature

1Department of Internal Medicine, Geisinger Medical Center, 100 North Academy Avenue, Danville, PA 17822, USA
2Woodside Family Health Center, 5718 Woodside Ave, NY 11377, USA

Received 3 April 2013; Accepted 10 June 2013

Academic Editors: A. Marangoni and S. Yazar

Copyright © 2013 Mukul Bhattarai et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Purple urine bag syndrome (PUBS) is a rare condition in which there is purple discoloration of the urine with its collecting bag and associated tubing occurs. It is considered a benign condition. We report an unusual case of PUBS in an 87-year-old female from nursing home who had a history of recurrent UTI. She also had a history of ureteral obstruction requiring left nephrostomy tube. She was brought to emergency department with altered mental status which developed five days after the occurrence of purple discoloration of the urinary bag. Her urine culture grew vancomycin-resistant Enterococci (VRE) and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. She died within three days of hospitalization despite intensive care in tertiary center. This case highlights that PUBS may not always be benign and should be approached on a case-by-case basis because it may signal the underlying UTI which might be very difficult to treat. Failure of recognition of this peculiar color early could delay the appropriate intervention leading to fatal complication. This case also represents the rare occurrence of PUBS in the setting of nephrostomy tube.