Diagnosis of UTI

A clean-catch urine specimen is obtained to diagnose a urinary tract infection (UTI). This test involves cleansing the area around the urethral opening and collecting a mid-stream urine sample, preventing bacteria in the genital area from contaminating the sample.

Urinalysis is performed to determine the level of white blood cells that destroy harmful bacteria (leukocytes) in the urine. A large number of these cells may indicate bacterial infection.

A culture and sensitivity (induced growth of the bacteria) may be done to determine the type of bacteria and how to treat the infection.

Publication Review By: Daniel Khouri, M.D., Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.

Published: 10 Jun 1998

Last Modified: 18 Nov 2011