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Diagnostic Tests for Urinary tract infection

Diagnostic Test list for Urinary tract infection:

The list of diagnostic tests mentioned in various sources as used in the diagnosis of Urinary tract infection includes:

Home Diagnostic Testing

These home medical tests may be relevant to Urinary tract infection causes:

Tests and diagnosis discussion for Urinary tract infection:

To find out whether you have a UTI, your doctor will test a sample of urine for pus and bacteria. You will be asked to give a "clean catch" urine sample by washing the genital area and collecting a "midstream" sample of urine in a sterile container. (This method of collecting urine helps prevent bacteria around the genital area from getting into the sample and confusing the test results.) Usually, the sample is sent to a laboratory, although some doctors' offices are equipped to do the testing.

In the urinalysis test, the urine is examined for white and red blood cells and bacteria. Then the bacteria are grown in a culture and tested against different antibiotics to see which drug best destroys the bacteria. This last step is called a sensitivity test.

Some microbes, like Chlamydia and Mycoplasma, can be detected only with special bacterial cultures. A doctor suspects one of these infections when a person has symptoms of a UTI and pus in the urine, but a standard culture fails to grow any bacteria.

When an infection does not clear up with treatment and is traced to the same strain of bacteria, the doctor will order a test that makes images of the urinary tract. One of these tests is an intravenous pyelogram (IVP), which gives x-ray images of the bladder, kidneys, and ureters. An opaque dye visible on x-ray film is injected into a vein, and a series of x-rays is taken. The film shows an outline of the urinary tract, revealing even small changes in the structure of the tract.

If you have recurrent infections, your doctor also may recommend an ultrasound exam, which gives pictures from the echo patterns of soundwaves bounced back from internal organs. Another useful test is cystoscopy. A cystoscope is an instrument made of a hollow tube with several lenses and a light source, which allows the doctor to see inside the bladder from the urethra. (Source: excerpt from Urinary Tract Infections in Adults: NIDDK)

Dipsticks that change color when an infection is present are now available without prescription. The strips detect nitrite, which is formed when bacteria change nitrate in the urine to nitrite. The test can detect about 90 percent of UTIs when used with the first morning urine specimen and may be useful for women who have recurrent infections. (Source: excerpt from Urinary Tract Infections in Adults: NIDDK)

Some of your child's urine will be collected and examined. The way urine is collected may depend on how old your child is. The health care provider may place a plastic collection bag over your child's genital area (sealed to the skin with an adhesive strip) if the child is not yet toilet trained. An older child may be asked to urinate into a container. The sample needs to come as directly into the container as possible to avoid picking up bacteria from the skin or rectal area. A doctor or nurse may need to pass a small tube into the urethra. Urine will drain directly from the bladder into a clean container through this tube (called a catheter). Sometimes the best way to get the urine is by placing a needle directly into the bladder through the skin of the lower abdomen. Getting urine through the tube or needle will make sure that the urine collected is pure.

Some of the urine will be examined under a microscope. If an infection is present, bacteria and sometimes pus will be in the urine. If the bacteria from the sample are hard to see at first, the health care provider may place the sample in a tube or dish with a substance that encourages any bacteria present to grow. Once the germs have multiplied, they can then be identified and tested to see which medications will provide the most effective treatment. The process of growing bacteria in the laboratory is known as performing a culture and often takes a day or more to complete.

The reliability of the culture depends on how long the urine stands before the culture is started. If you collect your child's urine at home, it should be refrigerated as soon as collected and the container should be transported in a plastic bag filled with ice. (Source: excerpt from Urinary Tract Infections in Children: NIDDK)

Once the infection has cleared, additional tests may be recommended to check for abnormalities in the urinary tract. Repeated infections in abnormal urinary tracts may cause kidney damage. The kinds of tests ordered will depend on your child and the type of urinary infection. Because no single test can tell everything about the urinary tract that might be important to know, more than one of the following tests may be needed:

  • Kidney and bladder ultrasound: A test that examines the kidney and bladder using sound waves. This test shows shadows of the kidney and bladder that may point out certain abnormalities; this test cannot reveal all important urinary abnormalities. It also cannot measure how well a kidney works.

  • Voiding cystourethrogram (VCUG): A test that examines the urethra and bladder while the bladder fills and empties. A liquid that can be seen on x-rays is placed into the bladder through a catheter. The bladder is filled until the child urinates. This test can reveal abnormalities of the inside of the urethra and bladder. The test can also determine whether the flow of urine is normal when the bladder empties.

  • Intravenous pyelogram: A test that examines the whole urinary tract. A liquid that can be seen on x-rays is injected into a vein. The substance travels into the kidneys and bladder, revealing possible obstructions.

  • Nuclear scans: A number of tests using radioactive materials that are usually injected into a vein to show how well the kidneys work, the shape of the kidneys, and whether urine empties from the kidneys in a normal way. The many kinds of nuclear scans each give different information about the kidneys and bladder. Nuclear scans expose a child to no more radiation than he or she would receive from a conventional x-ray. At times, it can even be less.
(Source: excerpt from Urinary Tract Infections in Children: NIDDK)

When you have a urinary problem, your doctor may use a cystoscope to see the inside of your bladder and urethra. The urethra is the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body. The cystoscope has lenses like a telescope or microscope. These lenses let the doctor focus on the inner surfaces of the urinary tract. Some cystoscopes use optical fibers (flexible glass fibers) that carry an image from the tip of the instrument to a viewing piece at the other end. The cystoscope is as thin as a pencil and has a light at the tip. Many cystoscopes have extra tubes to guide other instruments for procedures to treat urinary problems (Source: excerpt from Cystoscopy and Ureteroscopy: NIDDK)

Your doctor will test a urine sample for pus and bacteria. Although your doctor may begin treatment before the bacterial cultures are back from the lab, the cultures will confirm the diagnosis and may cause a change in the antibiotic chosen. Occasionally when a treatment fails to clear up an infection, the doctor may order a test that makes an image of the urinary tract to identify whether there are structural changes contributing to the infection or impeding treatment. (Source: excerpt from Urinary Tract Infections: NWHIC)

Conditions listing medical symptoms: Urinary tract infection:

The following list of conditions have 'Urinary tract infection' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.

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Conditions listing medical complications: Urinary tract infection:

The following list of medical conditions have 'Urinary tract infection' or similar listed as a medical complication in our database.

 

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