Utility of dipstick urinalysis in peri- and postmenopausal women with irritative bladder symptoms

Lindsay C. Turner, Richard Beigi, Jonathan P. Shepherd, Jerry L. Lowder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Introduction and hypothesis: Previous studies of dipstick urinalysis (UA) in asymptomatic peri- and postmenopausal women demonstrate poor sensitivity to detect a urinary tract infection (UTI). We hypothesized that sensitivity of this test would be improved in symptomatic peri- and postmenopausal women. Methods: This was a cross-sectional study of 76 women seeking urogynecology care for irritative bladder symptoms. Subjects with a positive clean-catch (CC) dipstick UA for leukocyte esterase (LE) or nitrites (NIT) were offered enrollment. Dipstick UA was performed on CC and catheterized specimens, followed by microbiologic culture. Test characteristics were calculated for CC and catheterized UA. CC culture was compared with catheterized culture (gold standard) using Spearman's correlation coefficient. Results: Data was available for analysis in 75/76 (98.7 %) enrolled subjects. Mean age was 68 ± 11 years. Most subjects were postmenopausal (98.7 %) and Caucasian (97.3 %). Dipstick sensitivity ranged from 48 % to 87 % and 35 % to 57 % in CC and catheterized specimens, respectively. Dipstick UA from a CC specimen positive for NIT had the highest sensitivity (60.9), specificity (100), negative predictive value (85.2), and positive predictive value (100) in this population. Dipstick UA from CC and catheterized specimens had similar sensitivity for detecting UTIs. When culture results of 103 colony-forming units were considered positive, CC and catheterized specimens were moderately correlated (ρ = 0.470). Conclusions: Dipstick UA in this study had improved sensitivity compared with previously published results in both CC and catheterized samples. Initiation of empiric antibiotic treatment in women with irritative bladder symptoms and NIT-positive CC dipstick UA prior to obtaining urine culture results is a reasonable option.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)493-497
Number of pages5
JournalInternational urogynecology journal and pelvic floor dysfunction
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2014


  • Dipstick urinalysis
  • Test characteristics
  • Urinary tract infection


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