Rationalising the use of investigation for urinary tract infections: Analysis of 700 patients and proposal for a diagnostic algorithm

Link to article at PubMed

Int J Clin Pract. 2020 Dec 28:e13977. doi: 10.1111/ijcp.13977. Online ahead of print.


AIMS: To evaluate the diagnostic yield of investigations performed on patients with a history of urinary tract infections (UTI).

METHODS: A retrospective review was conducted on patients who underwent cystoscopy and imaging for a history of UTI between 2014 and 2019 in a single UK teaching hospital. Data were collected on demographics, cystoscopy and radiological findings requiring further management. The cohort was stratified by age, gender and a confirmed history of recurrent UTI (rUTI). The subsequent algorithm was re-tested in a second cohort to validate its use.

RESULTS: Seven hundred patients were included in the primary analysis-427 female and 273 males. Three hundred and thirty-one met the criteria of rUTI. The median age was 64 years (18-97). Imaging abnormalities were equally frequent in men 6.3% (15/241) and women 8% (30/380) and the majority noted in patients aged ≥55 years, 30/45 (66.7%). Amongst those who did not meet the definition of rUTI, abnormal imaging was identified in 5%-7% regardless of age group and gender. Cystoscopy abnormalities (n = 24) were twice more likely in males, 5.5%(15/273) than females, 2%(9/427). About 88%(21/24) were identified in patients ≥55 years. There were no positive findings in women <55 years. Applying baseline imaging but confining cystoscopy to those aged ≥55 years and men with a confirmed history of rUTI would have saved 44% of procedures, missed no abnormalities with an overall diagnosis detection rate of 9.8% (69/700). This algorithm was validated in a separate cohort of 63 patients; applying it would have saved 46% (29/63) of cystoscopies with a positive diagnostic rate of 9.5% and no missed findings.

CONCLUSION: To our knowledge this is one of the largest studies reporting the outcomes of investigations for UTI and rUTI. Our result suggests that imaging is a useful baseline assessment, but cystoscopy should be limited to specific subgroups. We propose and validate a simple decision algorithm to manage investigations for referrals for UTI in secondary care.

PMID:33369808 | DOI:10.1111/ijcp.13977

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