Urinary symptoms and their associations with urinary tract infections in urogynecologic patients

Tanaka J. Dune, Travis K. Price, Evann E. Hilt, Krystal J. Thomas-White, Stephanie Kliethermes, Cynthia Brincat, Linda Brubaker, Paul Schreckenberger, Alan J. Wolfe, Elizabeth R. Mueller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To assess urinary symptoms associated with urinary tract infection (UTI) in a urogynecologic population of women. METHODS: In this cohort study, we enrolled 150 urogynecologic patients who completed the validated UTI Symptom Assessment questionnaire and contributed transurethral catheterized urine samples. The primary measure (UTI diagnosis) was defined in three ways. Selfreport (a nonculture-based UTI diagnosis) was defined by a yes or no response to the query "Do you think you have a UTI?" Two culture-based UTI diagnoses also were analyzed: standard urine culture (104 colony-forming units [CFU]/mL or greater) and enhanced quantitative urine culture (10 CFU/mL or greater) of any uropathogen. Statistical analyses were performed on patient demographics and urinary symptom prevalence among patient groups. RESULTS: Although the presence of the urinary symptoms of frequency and urgency (respectively) differ somewhat between UTI-positive and UTI-negative women (self-report [P=.005 and P<.001], standard urine culture [P=.038 and P=.044], or enhanced quantitative urine culture [P=.059 and P=.098]), the presence of dysuria (pain or burning) during urination was significantly more prevalent in UTIpositive women for all UTI definitions (self-report P<.001, standard urine culture P<.001, and enhanced quantitative urine culture P=.010). Furthermore, women reporting dysuria had higher severity and bother scores for all other urinary symptoms assessed by the UTI Symptom Assessment questionnaire compared with women not reporting dysuria (frequency P=.001, urgency P=.006, dysuria P<.001). CONCLUSION: Our findings show that, in women seeking urogynecologic care, the presence of frequency and urgency of urination does not confirm a culture-based UTI diagnosis. Instead, clinicians can more readily detect UTI using the presence of dysuria, which more effectively discriminates UTI-positive and UTI-negative individuals, regardless of the culture-based method used to diagnose UTI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)718-725
Number of pages8
JournalObstetrics and gynecology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Supported by a grant from the Falk Foundation (LU#202567) and National Institutes of Health grants R21DK097435-01A1 and 1P20DK108268. Presented at the International Continence Society’s 45th annual meeting, October 6–9, 2015, Montreal, Canada; and at the American Urogynecologic Society’s 36th annual meeting, October 13–17, 2015, Seattle, Washington.

Funding Information:
Dr. Brubaker has received grants from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases during conduct of a different study. She has received editorial fees from Up-To-Date. Dr. Wolfe has received Investigator Initiated Grants from Astellas Scientific and Medical Affairs (ASMA) and Kimberly Clark Corporation for different studies. Dr. Mueller has received grants and personal fees from ASMA, personal fees from Peri-Coach, and personal fees from Allergan during the conduct of the study but outside the submitted work. The other authors did not report any potential conflicts of interest.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 by The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.


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