Diagnostic value and cost utility analysis for urine Gram stain and urine microscopic examination as screening tests for urinary tract infection

Department of Laboratory Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University, 10330 Bangkok, Thailand.
Urological Research (Impact Factor: 1.39). 07/2005; 33(3):220-2. DOI: 10.1007/s00240-004-0457-z
Source: PubMed


The aim of this study was to evaluate the diagnostic properties of urine Gram stain and urine microscopic examination for screening for urinary tract infection (UTI), and to perform an additional cost utility analysis. This descriptive study was performed on 95 urine samples sent for urine culture to the Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University. The first part of the study was to determine the diagnostic properties of two screening tests (urine Gram stain and urine microscopic examination). Urine culture was set as the gold standard and the results from both methods were compared to this. The second part of this study was to perform a cost utility analysis. The sensitivity of urine Gram stain was 96.2%, the specificity 93.0%, the positive predictive value 94.3% and the negative predictive value 95.2%. False positives occurred with a frequency of 7.0% and false negatives 3.8%. For the microscopic examination, the sensitivity was 65.4%, specificity 74.4%, positive predictive value 75.6% and negative predictive value 64.0%. False positives occurred with a frequency of 25.6% and false negatives 34.6%. Combining urine Gram stain and urine microscopic examination, the sensitivity was 98.1%, specificity 74.4%, positive predictive value 82.3% and negative predictive value 97.0%. False positives occurred with a frequency of 25.6% and false negatives 1.9%. However, the cost per utility of the combined method was higher than either urine microscopic examination or urine Gram stain alone. Urine Gram stain provided the lowest cost per utility. Economically, urine Gram stain is the proper screening tool for presumptive diagnosis of UTI.

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