A rapid, inexpensive and simple method for detecting significant bacteriuria is highly desirable in a pediatric outpatient setting. Over the past four years we have used a method of urine microscopy similar to that described by Robins et al.1 It had been our impression that examining fresh, unspun, unstained urine for bacteria on a counting chamber was a highly accurate method for detecting significant bacteriuria. The present study was designed to confirm our impression and to define threshold numbers of bacteria that correlate with significant colony counts.


One hundred urine specimens were obtained from children in our pediatric outpatient clinic who were either being evaluated for possible urinary tract infection (UTI) or were being followed up for previous UTIs.

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