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Diagnostic accuracy of leukocyte esterase in confirmed cases of urinary tract infection in children

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Arif A, Afzal MF, Hamid H. Diagnostic accuracy of leukocyte esterase in confirmed cases of urinary tract infection in children. JRMC [Internet]. 2022 Dec. 31 [cited 2024 Jun. 25];26(4). Available from:


Background: Gold standard for the diagnosis of urinary tract infections (UTIs) is urine culture, but it takes longer for bacterial growth on culture media. Leukocyte esterase is a simple strip testing of urine sample, so it takes less time in diagnosing cases of UTI.

Objective: To determine the diagnostic accuracy of leukocyte esterase for detection of urinary tract infection in children taking urine culture as the gold standard.

Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted in the Department of Pediatrics, ---removed for blond review---from April to October 2017. Children of both genders between 2-12 years of age having clinical findings consistent with the operational definition of UTI were included in this study. Clean catch, midstream urine sample was collected in a sterile container for culture and test strip was dipped in urine sample for leukocyte esterase.

Results: Total 215 Children were  included in the study.The mean age of the children was 7.15±3.36 years. There were 118 (54.9%) males and 97(45.1%) females in this study.37 (17%) were culture positive. Sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive value of leukocyte esterase was 69.77%, 87.79%, 58.82%, and 92.07% respectively. Diagnostic accuracy was 84.19%.

Conclusion: Leukocyte esterase is a reliable marker for the screening of urinary tract infection in children 2 years to 12 years of age.

Key words: Leukocyte esterase, urinary tract infection, urine culture
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Copyright (c) 2022 Anam Arif, Muhammad Faheem Afzal, Muhammad Haroon Hamid