Incidence and diagnostic yield of repeat urine culture in hospitalized patients: An opportunity for diagnostic stewardship

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


There is limited knowledge on the incidence, diagnostic yield, and cost associated with inappropriate repeat urine cultures. The factors that affect repeat urine culturing practices are not well understood. We conducted a retrospective study of adult inpatients who had ≥1 urine culture performed during their hospitalization between January 2015 and February 2018. We analyzed the proportion of inappropriate repeat urine cultures performed ≤48 h after the index culture. We defined an inappropriate repeat urine culture to be a repeat urine culture performed following a negative index culture or a repeat urine specimen obtained from the same urinary catheter. Overall, 28,141 urine cultures were performed on 21,306 patients. There were 2,060 (7.3%) urine cultures repeated in ≤48 h. Of these, 1,120 (54.4%) urine cultures were inappropriate. Predictors for inappropriate repeat urine cultures included collection of the initial urine sample for culture in the emergency department (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 5.65; 95% confidence interval [CI], 4.70 to 6.78), male gender (aOR, 1.61; 95% CI, 1.42 to 1.84), congestive heart failure (aOR, 1.20; 95% CI, 1.03 to 1.38), and a longer hospital stay (aOR, 1.01 per day; 95% CI, 1.00 to 1.01). A patient with an index urine culture obtained from an indwelling catheter (aOR, 0.65; 95% CI, 0.53 to 0.80) was less likely to have an inappropriate repeat culture. Among 1,120 negative index urine cultures, only 4.7% of repeat cultures were positive for bacteriuria. The estimated laboratory charges for inappropriate repeat urine cultures were $16,800 over the study period. Among inpatients, over half of all urine cultures repeated in ≤48 h were inappropriate. This offers an opportunity for diagnostic stewardship and optimization of antimicrobial use.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere00910-19
JournalJournal of clinical microbiology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2019


  • Diagnostic stewardship
  • Diagnostic yield
  • Inappropriate testing
  • Urine culture


Dive into the research topics of 'Incidence and diagnostic yield of repeat urine culture in hospitalized patients: An opportunity for diagnostic stewardship'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this