OBJECTIVE: The performance of automated flow cytometric urinalysis is not well described in pediatric urinary tract infection. We sought to determine the diagnostic performance of automated cell counts and emergency department point-of-care (POC) dipstick urinalyses in the evaluation of young febrile children.
METHODS: We prospectively identified a convenience sample of febrile pediatric emergency department patients <48 months of age who underwent urethral catheterization to obtain POC and automated urinalyses and urine culture. Receiver operating characteristic analyses were performed and diagnostic indices were calculated for POC dipstick and automated cell counts at different cutpoints.
RESULTS: Of 342 eligible children, 42 (12%) had urinary bacterial growth ≥50 000/mL. The areas under the receiver operating characteristic curves were: automated white blood cell count, 0.97; automated bacterial count, 0.998; POC leukocyte esterase, 0.94; and POC nitrite, 0.76. Sensitivities and specificities were 86% and 98% for automated leukocyte counts ≥100/μL and 98% and 98% for bacterial counts ≥250/μL. POC urine dipstick with ≥1+ leukocyte esterase or positive nitrite had a sensitivity of 95% and a specificity of 98%. Combinations of white blood cell and bacterial counts did not outperform bacterial counts alone.
CONCLUSIONS: Automated leukocyte and bacterial counts performed well in the diagnosis of urinary tract infection in these febrile pediatric patients, but POC dipstick may be an acceptable alternative in clinical settings that require rapid decision-making.
- Accepted June 20, 2014.
- Copyright © 2014 by the American Academy of Pediatrics