How is urinary tract infection (UTI) in catheterized and/or hospitalized males diagnosed?

Updated: Aug 27, 2019
  • Author: John L Brusch, MD, FACP; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

Clinical and microbiologic criteria for the diagnosis of UTI are not well established in catheterized hospitalized patients. Symptoms in these individuals may be atypical or may be attributed to other disease processes, and no reliable colony count cutoff defines significant bacteriuria.

Low-level (100-1000 colony-forming units [CFU] per mL) colonization can progress to high-level (>100,000 CFU/mL) bacteriuria within 3 days in 96% of catheterized patients who are cultured on subsequent days (and not treated with antimicrobials). Thus, most experts agree that growth of more than 100 CFU/mL of a predominant pathogen represents catheter-associated UTI (CAUTI).


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