Choosing Wisely:

Don’t order urine cultures unless patients have symptoms consistent with UTI.

Rationale and Comments: Urine cultures should only be requested from patients who have clinical signs of UTI. Routine culture of urine in asymptomatic individuals may detect asymptomatic bacteriuria, which is commonly found in certain populations. Screening for asymptomatic bacteriuria has no clinical benefit and may result in harm. Testing for asymptomatic bacteriuria should only be pursued in specific populations such as pregnant women and individuals who are about to undergo urologic procedures that involve mucosal disruption.
Sponsoring Organizations:
  • American Society for Microbiology
  • Sources:
  • IDSA guideline
  • Disciplines:
  • Infectious disease
  • Urologic
  • References: • Weiskopf J, Scott S. Asymptomatic bacteriuria, what are you treating? JAMA Intern Med. 2015;175(3):344-345.
    • Nicolle LE, Gupta K, Bradley SF, et al. Clinical practice guideline for the management of asymptomatic bacteriuria: 2019 update by the Infectious Diseases Society of America. Clin Infect Dis. 2019;68(10):e83-e110.

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