Background: Asymptomatic bacteriuria is one of the common problems in pregnancy. Asymptomatic bacteriuria is associated with pyelonephritis, preterm labor and low birth weight infants. The physiological and anatomical changes in pregnancy facilitate urinary tract infection (UTI) during pregnancy. Several tests are available for diagnosis of asymptomatic bacteriuria. The urine culture is a gold standard diagnostic test for asymptomatic bacteriuria but it is expensive and time-consuming. Screening methods may be useful in detecting high-risk pregnant women for asymptomatic bacteriuria.

Objective: The aim of the present study was to compare urine analysis as a rapid screening test to urine culture in diagnosis of asymptomatic bacteriuria.

Methods: A total of 123 pregnant women attending the obstetrics clinic of Boo-Ali hospital in Tehran, Iran from March 2013 to September 2014 were included in the present diagnostic cross-sectional study. One hundred twenty three mid-stream urine samples were inoculated into cultures and were processed by dipstick (nitrite test and leucocyte esterase test) and microscopic pus cell count. The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value and negative predictive value of nitrite test, leucocyte esterase test and microscopic pus cell count were compared with urine culture in diagnosis of asymptomatic bacteriuria by using SPSS version 19.

Results: Of 123 urine samples, significant asymptomatic bacteriuria (≥104 cfu/Ml) was detected in 8 (6.5%) subjects. The sensitivity and specificity of nitrite test were 37% and 100% respectively. The sensitivity of pus cell count alone and leucocyte esterase test alone were 100% but the specificity of them were 64% and 65% respectively. We found high negative predictive value by Pus cell count and the leucocyte esterase test (100%) and low positive predictive value by them (16% and 17% respectively).

Conclusion: Urine culture is the most useful test for diagnosis of asymptomatic bacteriuria. None of our screening tests had a sensitivity and specificity of 100%, whereas we can only refer the pregnant women with positive leucocyte esterase test and significant pyuria to the urine culture.


Keywords: Asymptomatic Bacteriuria; Pregnancy; Urine culture; Screening tests
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