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      Validity of microscopy for diagnosing urinary tract infection in general practice – a systematic review

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          Abstract

          Objective: To investigate the validity of microscopy as a diagnostic tool for urinary tract infection in general practice.

          Methods: (Design/setting) A systematic review was conducted by searching Medline for clinical studies made in general practice, outpatient clinics or similar settings in which the accuracy/validity of microscopy was evaluated with urine culture as the reference standard.

          Results: Our search resulted in 108 titles. 28 potentially eligible studies were retrieved for full-text reading. We included eight studies involving 4582 patients in this review. The quality of the studies was moderate to high. Specificity ranged from 27% to 100%, sensitivity from 47% to 97%. The variation between studies did not allow for meta-analysis.

          Conclusion: We did not find substantial evidence to determine the clinical validity of microscopy performed in general practice on urine samples from patients with symptoms of UTI.

          Key points
          • Urinary tract infection is common in general practice. Methods for precise diagnosis are needed in order to avoid inappropriate treatment.

          • Currently no evidence-based consensus exists regarding the use of urinary microscopy in general practice.

          • We did not find substantial evidence to determine the overall clinical validity of microscopy performed in general practice on urine samples from patients with symptoms of UTI.

          • Light microscopy with oil immersion had high sensitivity and specificity but is time-consuming. Phase-contrast microscopy is quick and had high specificity but lower sensitivity.

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          Most cited references 30

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          QUADAS-2: a revised tool for the quality assessment of diagnostic accuracy studies.

          In 2003, the QUADAS tool for systematic reviews of diagnostic accuracy studies was developed. Experience, anecdotal reports, and feedback suggested areas for improvement; therefore, QUADAS-2 was developed. This tool comprises 4 domains: patient selection, index test, reference standard, and flow and timing. Each domain is assessed in terms of risk of bias, and the first 3 domains are also assessed in terms of concerns regarding applicability. Signalling questions are included to help judge risk of bias. The QUADAS-2 tool is applied in 4 phases: summarize the review question, tailor the tool and produce review-specific guidance, construct a flow diagram for the primary study, and judge bias and applicability. This tool will allow for more transparent rating of bias and applicability of primary diagnostic accuracy studies.
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            The urine dipstick test useful to rule out infections. A meta-analysis of the accuracy

            Background Many studies have evaluated the accuracy of dipstick tests as rapid detectors of bacteriuria and urinary tract infections (UTI). The lack of an adequate explanation for the heterogeneity of the dipstick accuracy stimulates an ongoing debate. The objective of the present meta-analysis was to summarise the available evidence on the diagnostic accuracy of the urine dipstick test, taking into account various pre-defined potential sources of heterogeneity. Methods Literature from 1990 through 1999 was searched in Medline and Embase, and by reference tracking. Selected publications should be concerned with the diagnosis of bacteriuria or urinary tract infections, investigate the use of dipstick tests for nitrites and/or leukocyte esterase, and present empirical data. A checklist was used to assess methodological quality. Results 70 publications were included. Accuracy of nitrites was high in pregnant women (Diagnostic Odds Ratio = 165) and elderly people (DOR = 108). Positive predictive values were ≥80% in elderly and in family medicine. Accuracy of leukocyte-esterase was high in studies in urology patients (DOR = 276). Sensitivities were highest in family medicine (86%). Negative predictive values were high in both tests in all patient groups and settings, except for in family medicine. The combination of both test results showed an important increase in sensitivity. Accuracy was high in studies in urology patients (DOR = 52), in children (DOR = 46), and if clinical information was present (DOR = 28). Sensitivity was highest in studies carried out in family medicine (90%). Predictive values of combinations of positive test results were low in all other situations. Conclusions Overall, this review demonstrates that the urine dipstick test alone seems to be useful in all populations to exclude the presence of infection if the results of both nitrites and leukocyte-esterase are negative. Sensitivities of the combination of both tests vary between 68 and 88% in different patient groups, but positive test results have to be confirmed. Although the combination of positive test results is very sensitive in family practice, the usefulness of the dipstick test alone to rule in infection remains doubtful, even with high pre-test probabilities.
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              Does this woman have an acute uncomplicated urinary tract infection?

              Symptoms suggestive of acute urinary tract infection (UTI) constitute one of the most common reasons for women to visit clinicians. Although the clinical encounter typically involves taking a history and performing a physical examination, the diagnostic accuracy of the clinical assessment for UTI remains uncertain. To review the accuracy and precision of history taking and physical examination for the diagnosis of UTI in women. We conducted a MEDLINE search for articles published from 1966 through September 2001 and manually reviewed bibliographies, 3 commonly used clinical skills textbooks, and contacted experts in the field. Studies were included if they contained original data on the accuracy or precision of history or physical examination for diagnosing acute uncomplicated UTI in women. One author initially screened titles and abstracts found by our search. Nine of 464 identified studies met inclusion criteria. Two authors independently abstracted data from the included studies. Disagreements were resolved by discussion and consensus with a third author. Four symptoms and 1 sign significantly increased the probability of UTI: dysuria (summary positive likelihood ratio [LR], 1.5; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.2-2.0), frequency (LR, 1.8; 95% CI, 1.1-3.0), hematuria (LR, 2.0; 95% CI, 1.3-2.9), back pain (LR, 1.6; 95% CI, 1.2-2.1), and costovertebral angle tenderness (LR, 1.7; 95% CI, 1.1-2.5). Four symptoms and 1 sign significantly decreased the probability of UTI: absence of dysuria (summary negative LR, 0.5; 95% CI, 0.3-0.7), absence of back pain (LR, 0.8; 95% CI, 0.7-0.9), history of vaginal discharge (LR, 0.3; 95% CI, 0.1-0.9), history of vaginal irritation (LR, 0.2; 95% CI, 0.1-0.9), and vaginal discharge on examination (LR, 0.7; 95% CI, 0.5-0.9). Of all individual diagnostic signs and symptoms, the 2 most powerful were history of vaginal discharge and history of vaginal irritation, which significantly decreased the likelihood of UTI when present (LRs, 0.3 and 0.2, respectively). One study examined combinations of symptoms, and the resulting LRs were more powerful (24.6 for the combination of dysuria and frequency but no vaginal discharge or irritation). One study of patients with recurrent UTI found that self-diagnosis significantly increased the probability of UTI (LR, 4.0). In women who present with 1 or more symptoms of UTI, the probability of infection is approximately 50%. Specific combinations of symptoms (eg, dysuria and frequency without vaginal discharge or irritation) raise the probability of UTI to more than 90%, effectively ruling in the diagnosis based on history alone. In contrast, history taking, physical examination, and dipstick urinalysis are not able to reliably lower the posttest probability of disease to a level where a UTI can be ruled out when a patient presents with 1 or more symptoms.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Scand J Prim Health Care
                Scand J Prim Health Care
                IPRI
                ipri20
                Scandinavian Journal of Primary Health Care
                Taylor & Francis
                0281-3432
                1502-7724
                2019
                14 July 2019
                : 37
                : 3
                : 373-379
                Affiliations
                Research Unit for General practice and Department of General Practice, University of Copenhagen , København, Denmark
                Author notes
                CONTACT Anja Kofod Beyer Rgn920@ 123456alumni.ku.dk Bachelor of medicine, Copenhagen University , Nørregade 10, 1165 København, Denmark
                Article
                1639935
                10.1080/02813432.2019.1639935
                6713105
                31304845
                © 2019 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Page count
                Figures: 1, Tables: 3, Pages: 7, Words: 3729
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