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Urine culture - catheterized specimen

Culture - urine - catheterized specimen; Urine culture - catheterization; Catheterized urine specimen culture

 

Catheterized specimen urine culture is a laboratory test that looks for germs in a urine sample.

How the Test is Performed

 

This test requires a urine sample. The sample is taken by placing a thin rubber tube (called a catheter) through the urethra into the bladder. A nurse or a trained technician may do this.

First, the area around the opening of the urethra is thoroughly washed with a germ-killing (antiseptic) solution. The tube is inserted into the urethra. The urine drains into a sterile container, and the catheter is removed.

Rarely, the health care provider may choose to collect a urine sample by inserting a needle directly into the bladder from the abdominal wall and draining the urine. However, this is most often done only in infants or to immediately screen for bacterial infection.

The urine is sent to a laboratory. Tests are done to determine if there are germs in the urine sample. Other tests may be done to determine the best medicine to fight the germs.

 

How to Prepare for the Test

 

Do not urinate for at least 1 hour before the test. If you don't have the urge to urinate, you may be instructed to drink a glass of water 15 to 20 minutes before the test. Otherwise, there is no preparation for the test.

 

How the Test will Feel

 

There is some discomfort. As the catheter is inserted, you may feel pressure. If you have a urinary tract infection, you may have some pain when the catheter is inserted.

 

Why the Test is Performed

 

The test is done:

  • To get a sterile urine sample in a person who cannot urinate on their own
  • If you might have a urinary tract infection
  • If you cannot empty your bladder (urinary retention)

 

Normal Results

 

Normal values depend on the test being performed. Normal results are reported as "no growth" and are a sign that there is no infection.

 

What Abnormal Results Mean

 

A "positive" or abnormal test means germs, such as bacteria or yeast, are found in the urine sample. This likely means that you have a urinary tract infection or a bladder infection. If there is only a small amount of germs, your health care provider may not recommend treatment.

Sometimes, bacteria that do not cause urinary tract infections may be found in the culture. This is called a contaminant. You may not need to be treated.

People who have a urinary catheter in all of the time may have bacteria in their urine sample, but it does not cause a true infection. This is called being colonized.

 

Risks

 

Risks include:

  • Perforation (hole) in the urethra or bladder from the catheter
  • Infection

 

 

References

Dean AJ, Lee DC. Bedside laboratory and microbiologic procedures. In: Roberts JR, ed. Roberts and Hedges' Clinical Procedures in Emergency Medicine. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2014:chap 67.

Germann CA, Holmes JA. Selected urologic problems. In: Walls RM, Hockberger RS, Gausche-Hill M, eds. Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 89.

Hooton TM, Bradley SF, Cardenas DD, et al. Diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of catheter-associated urinary tract infection in adults: 2009 International Clinical Practice Guidelines from the Infectious Diseases Society of America. Clin Infect Dis. 2010;50(5):625-663. PMID: 20175247 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20175247.

Text only

 
  • Female urinary tract

    Female urinary tract - illustration

    The female and male urinary tracts are relatively the same except for the length of the urethra.

    Female urinary tract

    illustration

  • Male urinary tract

    Male urinary tract - illustration

    The male and female urinary tracts are relatively the same except for the length of the urethra.

    Male urinary tract

    illustration

  • Bladder catheterization, male

    Bladder catheterization, male - illustration

    Catheterization is accomplished by inserting a catheter (a hollow tube, often with and inflatable balloon tip) into the urinary bladder. This procedure is performed for urinary obstruction, following surgical procedures to the urethra, in unconscious patients (due to surgical anesthesia, coma, or other reasons), or for any other problem in which the bladder needs to be kept empty (decompressed) and urinary flow assured. The balloon holds the catheter in place for a duration of time. Catheterization in males is slightly more difficult and uncomfortable than in females because of the longer urethra.

    Bladder catheterization, male

    illustration

  • Bladder catheterization, female

    Bladder catheterization, female - illustration

    A catheter (a hollow tube, often with an inflatable balloon tip) may be inserted into the urinary bladder when there is a urinary obstruction, following surgical procedures to the urethra, in unconscious patients (due to surgical anesthesia, coma, or other reasons), or for any other problem in which the bladder needs to be kept empty (decompressed) and urinary flow assured. The balloon holds the catheter in place for a duration of time.

    Bladder catheterization, female

    illustration

    • Female urinary tract

      Female urinary tract - illustration

      The female and male urinary tracts are relatively the same except for the length of the urethra.

      Female urinary tract

      illustration

    • Male urinary tract

      Male urinary tract - illustration

      The male and female urinary tracts are relatively the same except for the length of the urethra.

      Male urinary tract

      illustration

    • Bladder catheterization, male

      Bladder catheterization, male - illustration

      Catheterization is accomplished by inserting a catheter (a hollow tube, often with and inflatable balloon tip) into the urinary bladder. This procedure is performed for urinary obstruction, following surgical procedures to the urethra, in unconscious patients (due to surgical anesthesia, coma, or other reasons), or for any other problem in which the bladder needs to be kept empty (decompressed) and urinary flow assured. The balloon holds the catheter in place for a duration of time. Catheterization in males is slightly more difficult and uncomfortable than in females because of the longer urethra.

      Bladder catheterization, male

      illustration

    • Bladder catheterization, female

      Bladder catheterization, female - illustration

      A catheter (a hollow tube, often with an inflatable balloon tip) may be inserted into the urinary bladder when there is a urinary obstruction, following surgical procedures to the urethra, in unconscious patients (due to surgical anesthesia, coma, or other reasons), or for any other problem in which the bladder needs to be kept empty (decompressed) and urinary flow assured. The balloon holds the catheter in place for a duration of time.

      Bladder catheterization, female

      illustration

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          Tests for Urine culture - catheterized specimen

           
           

          Review Date: 5/14/2017

          Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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