[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There is debate about the ideal diagnostic procedure for urinary tract infections (UTIs) in general practice. The aim of this study was to evaluate nitrite and leucocyte esterase strip test procedures in general practice patients, and to relate the results to the decision of the general practitioner to prescribe antibiotic therapy. A total of 292 female patients from eight general practices in the Maastricht area, who were aged 12 years or over with complaints suggesting UTI, were included in the study. All eight practices tested fresh urine samples using the nitrite strip test, and seven also used the leucocyte esterase strip test. The positive predictive value of the nitrite test was greater than the leucocyte test. Antibiotic therapy was nearly always prescribed when either or both of these tests were positive. Bacterial culture was positive in 159 (59%) cases, although treatment was started in 70 (27%) cases where there was an absence of significant bacteruria. It was found that the choice of agent used to treat the patient was related to the antibiotic susceptibility of the uropathogens that were isolated.
Full-text · Article · May 2000 · British Journal of General Practice