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Can Urine Culture Detect Kidney Infection

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How Can I Get A Urine Culture Test

UTI l Urinary Tract Infection & Pyelonephritis Treatment for NCLEX RN & LPN

Usually, your doctor orders a urine culture that is performed in the office of your health care provider or a lab. Often, a urine culture is done in conjunction with a urinalysis test. If you choose, you can order a urinalysis with reflex to culture online without a doctorâs order. The test includes a routine urinalysis and based on the presence of cells, protein, and other components, it can include a urine culture.

For catheterized specimens, a urine sample is taken by inserting a thin flexible tube or catheter through the urethra into the bladder. This is performed by a trained health care practitioner.

Why Its Important To Find The Right Practitioner

While you may be able to request UTI testing independently, the results have limited usefulness without a practitioner who can interpret the information and prescribe an appropriate treatment regimen.

Because the types of UTI testing covered above are not widely available, many practitioners may not be aware of them at all. Or they may be aware of them but have no experience using them, or may believe them to be unhelpful.

Always find a practitioner to work with before ordering testing. Weve covered recurrent UTI treatment approaches in a separate article, so dive in there for more insight.

With Microbiome testing, you don’t often get one bacteria. Certainly, I have found the usual suspects like E. coli. Ive even detected some STIs, and anaerobes that cant be grown by culture. Sometimes, you get long lists of bacteria that we know very little about, and I’ll do extensive literature searches and sometimes barely come up with one or two papers. And so what I generally do in that situation is to try and figure out which are likely to be pathogenic, and treat those. This is a really different way of prescribing antibiotics compared to when I was trained.”

Blood Tests To Diagnose Kidney Infection

The kidney is one of the vital organs in the human body. It filters waste products of the blood into urine and excretes from the body. Any dysfunction of the kidneys can result in the accumulation of waste products in blood along with excess fluid. Infection is a major cause which can cause acute kidney injury and sometimes can proceed into chronic renal failure.

Prompt diagnosis and treatment are essential to prevent complications which occur due to a chronic kidney infection. Children are more susceptible to develop complications due to kidney infection. This is because post infection induced kidney injury scarring can occur in the developing kidney of the child. In order to minimize the bad outcomes, the clinicians practice many diagnostic blood tests for a kidney infection.

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What Do The Colors On A Urine Test Mean

Fluids dilute the yellow pigments in urine, so the more you drink, the clearer your urine looks. When you drink less, the color becomes more concentrated. Severe dehydration can produce urine the color of amber. But urine can turn colors far beyond whats normal, including red, blue, green, dark brown and cloudy white.

Interpretation Of Urinalysis And Urine Culture For Uti Treatment

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Brittany N. Bates, PharmD, BCPSClinical Assistant Professor of Pharmacy PracticeOhio Northern UniversityLima, OhioUS Pharm.

ABSTRACT: Urinary tract infection is one of the most commonly diagnosed infections in both outpatient and inpatient populations. In order to make an accurate diagnosis, it is essential for practitioners to understand the value and limitations of urinalysis and urine culture. Use of these tests in conjunction with an assessment of urinary symptoms will yield a diagnosis of either asymptomatic bacteriuria or symptomatic UTI. Pharmacists can play a key role in recommending that antibiotic therapy be withheld when it is not indicated, in addition to providing guidance on appropriate antibiotic selection when treatment is warranted.

Urinalysis is a valuable diagnostic tool for many common disease states. Urinalysis is the most frequently used test for the evaluation of potential urinary tract infection . In addition, it can provide useful information related to screening and diagnosis of other conditions, including malignancy, proteinuria, glycosuria, ketonuria, and renal calculi.1 Accurate interpretation of urinalysis results is a key concept for health care providers in order to diagnose and treat patients appropriately. This article will focus primarily on the interpretation of urinalysis and subsequent urine culture in the diagnosis and treatment of UTIs.

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What Uti Strip Test Indicators Mean


Studies show that UTI test strips may only be reliable about 30% of the time.

My urine was visibly cloudy and it burned when I went to pee. My doctor used a UTI test strip in my urine sample and said everything on the test strip was normal. I was told I didnt have an infection even though Ive had UTIs before and I know exactly what they feel like.

Some studies have bluntly concluded that UTI test strips should be abandoned as a tool for the diagnosis of UTIs in patients with lower urinary tract symptoms.

Given the low accuracy of UTI test strips, if the results are negative but you have UTI symptoms, it would generally be recommended that you have a urine culture test done in a lab.

Which brings us to the next problem

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Urine Test For Kidney Function

Microalbuminuria is a condition characterized by the presence of increased levels of albumin in the urine. It is a precursor condition to diabetic nephropathy and cardiovascular disease in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus . Tests for microalbuminuria need to be done more frequently in the first few years after the diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes. An important test in the prevention of End-Stage Renal Disease is the Microalbumin: Creatinine ratio.

Microalbumin: Creatinine ratio test gives information about the glomerular filtration rate and the presence of a pre-existing renal disease. A microalbumin: Creatinine ratio of 30-300 mg/g is considered as an early indicator of renal disease. If you have microalbuminuria, it doesnt necessarily mean that you have kidney disease, but you should definitely consult a physician to get tested for more serious conditions.

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What Is A Kidney Infection

Kidney infection is an upper urinary tract infection that generally begins in your urethra or bladder and travels up into your kidneys. Most kidney infections start out as common bladder infections.

A kidney infection, if not treated properly and promptly, can permanently damage your kidneys or the bacteria can spread to your bloodstream and cause a life-threatening infection. Fortunately, kidney infections can almost always be cleared up with a course of antibiotics.

Some kidney infections can develop without a bladder infection and are due to a problem within the kidney itself. As an example, people with kidney stones or an abnormality of the kidney are more susceptible to kidney infections.

Epithelial Cells As An Immune Response Are Overlooked

Urinary Tract Infection, Causes, Signs and Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment.

Epithelial cells are the delicate tissue that can be found lining most of the urinary tract, including the bladder. When you have a UTI, your body can shed epithelial cells as part of its defense against pathogens that form biofilms or intracellular bacterial communities .

The body is pretty amazing really. Pathogens invade and start to form communities on and inside the bladder lining cells, and your body starts sacrificing its own cells, in an attempt to foil the plan.

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How To Diagnose Urinary Tract Infection

A proposed strategy to diagnose UTI is shown in and . The interpretation of urine analysis and culture tests is entirely dependent on the quality of the urine samples submitted for examination and the conditions of transport to the laboratory.

Fig. 1.

Diagnostic algorithm for symptomatic UTI. CFU/ml, colony-forming units per millilitre of urine.

How Should I Prepare For A Urine Culture

Your healthcare provider will let you know if you need to take any special steps before providing a urine sample.

Your healthcare provider may ask you to:

  • Not pee for at least an hour before giving a urine sample.
  • Drink at least 8 ounces of water 20 minutes before the sample collection to ensure theres enough urine to test.
  • Collect a urine sample first thing in the morning.

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It Turns Out Urine Is Not Sterile

It has become common knowledge that urine is sterile its even become ingrained in first aid advice, like urinating on a wound is better than using non-sterile water. But it turns out its not.

The bladder has its own unique microbiome, and an ideal balance of microbes that your body does its best to maintain.

Studies have found hundreds of different bacteria in healthy bladders. And in patients with UTIs, they have found even more. Thats a lot of different bacteria that were assumed not to exist in the bladder!

Because UTI test techniques have always assumed urine is sterile, they have always been flawed.

This contamination may actually be bacteria from inside the bladder that should be considered as part of the puzzle. Results may also show insignificant levels of growth that are then often dismissed.

Its important to acknowledge here that actual sample contamination is also a real possibility, so minimizing this is also important. Weve discussed this more below.

Lower Vs Upper Urinary Tract Infection


Differentiation between lower and upper UTI is important because renal involvement is associated with more severe complications. The clinical presentation of a patient gives important hints to distinguish between lower and upper UTI. Usually, no alterations of acute phase reactants are found in patients with lower UTI and body temperature is below 38°C. Upper UTI causes elevation of inflammatory parameters such as C-reactive protein or leukocytosis and fever. Diagnostic procedures to accurately localize UTI are invasive and not without risk . A variety of non-invasive methods have been proposed to distinguish between lower and upper UTI, particularly recent contributions of renal nuclear medicine . In clinical practice monitoring of bacteriuria may help to differentiate at least retrospectively between lower and upper UTI. For example, if bacteriuria is gone after 1-day or short-term treatment, the diagnosis of lower UTI is likely. In a recent publication urinary excretion of N-acetyl-beta-glucosaminidase , a lysosomal enzyme present in the proximal convoluted tubule, has been used to differentiate between lower and upper UTI. Urinary NAG excretion was significantly higher in patients with upper than lower UTI or healthy adults .

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What Is Kidney Infection

Infection in the urinary tract can involve the lower tract especially the bladder , prostate or the upper tract and kidney . It is usually a bacterial infection. The disease occurs in roughly three to seven of every 10,000 people in the United States. The occurrence in pregnant women is about 2 percent. It is readily treatable if diagnosed early.

A bacteria called Escherichia Coli causes about 90 percent of kidney infections. The bacteria migrate from the genitals through the urethra into the bladder and up the tubes that connect the bladder to the kidneys.

Some bacteria, such as staphylococcus infections, can enter the kidneys from the bloodstream.

Symptomatic Vs Asymptomatic Urinary Tract Infection

Based on clinical signs and symptoms one can distinguish between asymptomatic and symptomatic UTI . `Symptomatic abacteriuria’, i.e. bacterial infection with low counts of uropathogens may present as the socalled urethral syndrome. Other causes of `symptomatic abacteriuria’ include infection with Chlamydia, Mycoplasma, Trichomonas, Gonococci, Candida or Mycobacteria. Similar symptoms can also arise from urological bladder problems including tumours. Renal abscess formation without drainage into the urinary tract, complete ureteral obstruction, urinary tract tuberculosis, Schistosomiasis, antimicrobial treatment or use of antiseptic agents can also present as `symptomatic abacteriuria’.

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What Is The Difference Between A Urine Culture Test And Urinalysis

A urinalysis and urine culture both require a urine sample. Your healthcare provider may first do a urinalysis. This quicker test screens urine for the presence of red and white blood cells and bacteria that can indicate an infection.

A urinalysis cant identify the specific bacteria causing a UTI. For that information, you need a urine culture.

Approach To The Asymptomatic Patient

Can urine culture test detect STDs? – Dr. Teena S Thomas

A therapeutic challenge arises when a patient has urinalysis findings or culture results that are consistent with UTI, yet does not experience any urinary symptoms. The prevalence of this condition, known as asymptomatic bacteriuria, increases with age.6,7Asymptomatic bacteriuria has been reported in 50% of women in long-term care facilities, and the prevalence in men drastically increases in those older than 60 years.6 Routine screening of asymptomatic patients is not recommended, according to the Infectious Diseases Society of America guidelines.6 The only populations with a proven benefit from urinalysis and culture screening are pregnant patients and patients with a planned transurethral resection of the prostate or other urologic procedure in which mucosal bleeding is expected.6 Treatment also may be considered in women with bacteriuria more than 48 hours after catheter removal.6,8 If asymptomatic bacteriuria is identified in a patient from one of these populations, treatment should be initiated as described in TABLE 2.6,8-11 Antibiotic therapy should be started empirically, but it may require modification depending upon the organism identified in the urine culture.

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Why You Cant Trust Uti Test Strips

UTI test strips are commonly used as an initial indicator for UTI. Studies have shown these test strips are unreliable, and cannot be used to rule out infection.

Youve probably seen a UTI test strip if youve ever been to a doctor for a suspected UTI, but you can also buy them online or over the counter, to use at home.

Home UTI test strips often contain only two of the indicators listed below.

Is There Anything Else I Need To Know About A Nitrites In Urine Test

At-home test kits for UTIs are available without a prescription. These test kits are also called urine dipstick tests or UTI test strips. They check for nitrites and white blood cells in your urine.

At-home UTI tests are quick and easy to use, but they don’t always provide accurate results. Your results may say you don’t have a UTI when you really do. So, you may still need to see your provider for a nitrites in urine test. If you think you have a UTI, ask your provider which test is right for you.

If you have signs of a UTI, your provider may order a urine culture test to see how much and what type of bacteria may be in your urine. This information helps your provider decide which type of antibiotic medicine to prescribe. In a urine culture test, bacteria from your urine are grown in a lab. Results usually take a couple of days.

If a urinalysis is part of your regular checkup, your urine will be tested for several other substances. These include blood, proteins, acid and sugar levels, cell fragments, and crystals in your urine.

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How Are Kidney Infections Treated

A physician will treat the disease based on his or her examination. He or she may start the patient on the standard treatment of a course of antibiotics before the lab tests results are available. The medication may change once the exact strain of bacteria is revealed by the lab tests.

If the treatment is effective, the patient should feel better in two to three days. If not, your healthcare provider will start looking for additional problems. Most antibiotic treatments last for 14 days and it is essential that patients take the pills as recommended for the full 14 days even though symptoms may disappear after a few days. The disappearance of symptoms does not mean all bacteria are killed. Some may remain and the infection may reappear.

There is also a concern that those bacteria that remain may develop resistance to the medication. For some reason the disease is more difficult to treat in men and they may have to take medication for up to six weeks. Patients with severe illness, those that have significant nausea and vomiting, high fevers, significant pain and signs of dehydration may be hospitalized for a few days while the antibiotics are administered intravenously. Urine samples are taken after about six weeks of treatment and examined to insure the bacterial infection is eradicated.

The Pathogen/s Causing Your Symptoms May Not Be In Your Sample

unamourdetapisdesign: Urine Culture Standard Range

Standard UTI test methods focus on free-floating pathogens .

With every recurrence of UTI, there is an increased risk of an embedded, difficult-to-treat bladder infection. An infection embedded in or attached to the bladder wall is called a biofilm.

Biofilms arent always bad many types of bacteria form these structures naturally and theyre an important part of the gut microbiome.

When bacteria form biofilms in the bladder, they are no longer free-floating. If the bacteria are not floating around in the urine, they will not be passed into your sample on urination.

If the bacteria are not in your sample, they will not be detected.

There are other reasons your sample may not contain detectable levels of bacteria, including over-hydration. If your bladder is frequently flushed and your urine is diluted, your sample may not contain enough of anything a urine culture can detect.

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What Is The Treatment For A Uti

A UTI is most often treated with a round of antibiotics. The type of antibiotic prescribed can vary according to what kind of bacteria you are fighting off, your medical history, and whether or not your UTI has been recurrent. If you continue to have frequent UTIs, you may need to be tested for your susceptibility to them.

You can begin to treat a UTI at home by drinking plenty of water and urinating frequently. Every opportunity you have to try to flush out some of the bacteria will help your body to recover more quickly. Vitamin C supplements will help boost your immune system. Think of them as ammunition for your white blood cells as they fight the infection.

The herb goldenseal is sometimes recommended for supplemental treatment of UTIs. At one time, drinking unsweetened cranberry juice was believed to flush out bad bacteria from the urinary tract. However, in recent years, that claim has become hard to prove.

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