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Infectious Diseases in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Volume 9 (2001), Issue 4, Pages 249-255

Urinalysis and Urinary Tract Infection: Update for Clinicians

Medical University of South Carolina, Gynecology&Obstetrics, 96 Jonathan Lucas St. Suite 634, P.O. Box 250619, Charleston 29425, SC, USA

Received 5 February 2001; Accepted 22 June 2001

Copyright © 2001 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. 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.


Dysuria is a common presenting complaint of women and urinalysis is a valuable tool in the initial evaluation of this presentation. Clinicians need to be aware that pyuria is the best determinate of bacteriuria requiring therapy and that values significant for infection differ depending on the method of analysis. A hemocytometer yields a value of ≥ 10 WBC/ mm3 significant for bacteriuria, while manual microscopy studies show ≥ 8 WBC/high-power field reliably predicts a positive urine culture. In cases of uncomplicated symptomatic urinary tract infection, a positive value for nitrites and leukocyte esterase by urine dipstick can be treated without the need for a urine culture. Automated urinalysis used widely in large volume laboratories provides more sensitive detection of leukocytes and bacteria in the urine.With automated microscopy, a value of > 2 WBC/hpf is significant pyuria indicative of inflammation of the urinary tract. In complicated cases such as pregnancy, recurrent infection or renal involvement, further evaluation is necessary including manual microscopy and urine culture with sensitivities.