Urine flow cytometry is an adequate screening tool for urinary tract infections in children

Maarten Broeren, Relana Nowacki, Feico Halbertsma*, Nicolaas Arents, Sebastiaan Zegers*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Diagnosing a urinary tract infection in children is often difficult due to non-specific symptoms and requires invasive and time-consuming procedures. Flow cytometry is a new and rapid method of analyzing urine to confirm or exclude UTIs. We have investigated the sensitivity and specificity of urine flow cytometry (Sysmex UF1000i) compared to conventional diagnostic techniques in a prospective study from January 1, 2014 until January 1, 2015. All children under 13years of age with a suspicion of urinary tract infection were screened using both urine flow cytometry and urine culture. A urinary tract infection was defined as the combination of leukocyturia (25 leukocytes per l) and a positive urine culture in the presence of clinical symptoms. A total number of 412 urine samples were collected, of which 63 cases (15.3%) were positive for a urinary tract infection. Receiver operating characteristic analysis showed an area under the curve of 0.97 (95% confidence interval h0.93-1.00) for the bacterial count. When using a cut-off value of 250bacteria/l in the presence of leukocyturia, the sensitivity for urinary tract infection is 0.97 with a negative predictive value of 97%, and the specificity is 0.91 with a positive predictive value of 90%.Conclusion: Flow cytometry-based bacterial and leukocyte count analysis is a time-efficient method of diagnosing or ruling out urinary tract infection in children, with a higher sensitivity and specificity than dipstick and microscopic analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)363-368
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Pediatrics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019


  • Urinary tract infection
  • Urine flow cytometry
  • Children
  • Screening

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