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Alternative Names Return to topCulture - urine - catheterized specimen; Urine culture - catheterization; Catheterized urine specimen culture
Definition Return to top
Catheterized specimen urine culture is a test in which a urine sample is taken by inserting a catheter (a thin rubber tube) through the urethra into the bladder.
How the Test is Performed Return to top
A nurse or a trained technician may perform the test. First, the area around the opening of the urethra is thoroughly washed with a germ-killing (antiseptic) solution. A well-lubricated thin rubber tube called a catheter is gently inserted and advanced until it enters the bladder. The urine drains into a sterile container, and the catheter is removed.
Rarely, the health care provider may choose to collect a urine sample by inserting a needle directly into the bladder and draining the urine. However, this is necessary only to immediately screen for bacterial infection.
The urine is taken to a laboratory to determine which, if any, organisms are present in the urine. Other tests may be done to determine how the organism will respond to medications.
How to Prepare for the Test Return to top
Do not urinate for at least 1 hour before the test. If you don't have the urge to urinate, you may be instructed to drink a glass of water 15-20 minutes before the test. Otherwise, there is no preparation for the test.
How the Test Will Feel Return to top
There is some discomfort. As the catheter is inserted, you may feel pressure. If you have a urinary tract infection, there may be a painful sensation when the catheter is inserted, due to inflammation of the urethra.
Why the Test is Performed Return to top
The test is performed:
Tests for organisms that cause infection are performed after the urine is collected. This can also help monitor ongoing infections.
Return to top
Normal values depend on the test being performed. Normal results are reported as "no growth" and indicate that there is no infection.
What Abnormal Results Mean Return to top
A "positive" test indicates organisms that cause urinary tract infection were detected.
Risks Return to top
There is a slight risk of perforation (hole) from the catheter and a risk of infection.
Considerations Return to top
Rarely, a suprapubic aspirate may be performed if a sample cannot be obtained by other methods. In this method, a needle is inserted through the skin of the lower abdomen into the bladder to withdraw urine.Update Date: 7/25/2008 Updated by: A.D.A.M. Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, Greg Juhn, MTPW, David R. Eltz. Previously reviewed by Arnold L. Lentnek, M.D., Division of Infectious Disease, Kennestone Hospital, Marietta, GA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network (11/12/2007).