The clinical rate of antibiotic change following empiric treatment for suspected urinary tract infections

  • Jonathan Dokter
  • Lauren E. TennysonEmail author
  • Laura Nguyen
  • Esther Han
  • Larry T. Sirls
Urology - Original Paper



To determine the rate of antibiotic change in an outpatient setting following empiric treatment of culture proven UTI and to identify risk factors associated with change.


Patients with suspected UTI and urine culture were reviewed (January 2016–June 2016). Those with a positive culture were categorized by whether or not they were treated empirically. Empiric treatment was evaluated for associations with clinical–demographic data, symptoms and urinalysis (UA). Antibiotic change was evaluated with clinical–demographic data, urine culture, and resistance patterns.


916 urine cultures (636 patients) were included. 391 (43%) cultures were positive, and 164 (42%) were treated empirically. Clinical–demographic data did not differ between groups. Those treated empirically had more documented UTI symptoms (93 vs 58%, P < 0.001), and UA abnormalities including positive nitrites (51 vs 29%, P < 0.001), 3 + leukocyte esterase (27 vs 19%, P = 0.002) and 3 + blood (13 vs 4%, P = 0.005). Of those treated empirically, 42/164 (26%) required an antibiotic change, and this was associated with immunosuppression (12 vs 2%, P = 0.027) resistance to > 3 antibiotics (33 vs 20%, P = 0.039) and also resistance to fluoroquinolone (50 vs 30%, P = 0.016), monobactam (19 vs 7% P = 0.042) and TMP–SMX (52 vs 19%, P < 0.001).


Almost one-quarter of patients treated empirically required antibiotic change. This was driven largely by bacterial resistance. New technologies allowing rapid bacterial identification and sensitivity may improve patient care.


Urinary tract infection Antibiotics Antimicrobial resistance Empiric treatment 



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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jonathan Dokter
    • 2
  • Lauren E. Tennyson
    • 1
    Email author
  • Laura Nguyen
    • 3
  • Esther Han
    • 1
  • Larry T. Sirls
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Urology, Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive SurgeryBeaumont HealthRoyal OakUSA
  2. 2.Oakland University William Beaumont School of MedicineRochesterUSA
  3. 3.Department of UrologyMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada

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