Journal Article

Inappropriate Treatment of Catheter-Associated Asymptomatic Bacteriuria in a Tertiary Care Hospital

Barbara W. Trautner, Matthew Cope, Manuel E. Cevallos, Richard M. Cadle, Rabih O. Darouiche and Daniel M. Musher

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 48, issue 9, pages 1182-1188
Published in print May 2009 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online May 2009 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/597403
Inappropriate Treatment of Catheter-Associated Asymptomatic Bacteriuria in a Tertiary Care Hospital

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Background. Evidence-based guidelines state that asymptomatic bacteriuria is not a clinically significant condition in men and nonpregnant women and that treatment is unlikely to confer clinical benefit. We hypothesized that, among patients with indwelling catheters or condom collection systems, many who receive a diagnosis of and are treated for catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI) actually have asymptomatic bacteriuria and, therefore, that antibiotic therapy is inappropriate.

Methods. We reviewed all urine culture results at a veterans affairs medical center during a 3-month period. Cultures yielding ⩾104 colony-forming units/mL were included if the urine had been collected from a hospitalized patient with an indwelling (Foley) catheter or a condom collection system. We applied standardized definitions to determine whether the episode represented catheter-associated asymptomatic bacteriuria (CAABU) or CAUTI. Antibiotic therapy was considered appropriate for patients who met criteria for symptomatic UTI.

Results. Overall, 280 episodes met criteria for inclusion: 164 CAABU and 116 CAUTI. Of the 164 episodes of CAABU, 111 (68%) were managed appropriately (no treatment), whereas 53 (32%) were treated with antibiotics (inappropriate treatment). In multivariate analysis, older patient age, having predominantly gram-negative bacteriuria, and higher urine white blood cell count were significantly associated with inappropriate treatment of CAABU (P<.05, by logistic regression).

Conclusions. Better recognition of CAABU and the distinction between this condition and CAUTI, consistent with evidence-based guidelines, may play a key role in reducing unneeded antibiotic usage in hospitalized patients.

Journal Article.  3620 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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