There has been a national drive to improve antimicrobial stewardship in the diagnosis and management of uncomplicated lower urinary tract infections (UTIs). While much attention has been paid to the initial management in hospital, there is little evidence of how treatment is rationalised or altered in response to results from the laboratory.


We undertook a retrospective analysis of medical records, including patients diagnosed with uncomplicated lower UTI whilst in hospital. Data was collected on whether a urine sample was sent to the laboratory, the result was documented, which subsequent actions were taken by clinical teams and their appropriateness.


All the patients received antibiotics for a lower UTI. 55% of patients had documented symptoms of a UTI, the remainder were commenced due to a suspected UTI in the absence of localising clinical symptoms. 86% had an MSU sample sent to the laboratory. In all cases, clinicians had viewed these results. In 57%, the findings of the MSU were documented. 38% of all results were not acted on appropriately, with 19% of those continuing antibiotics unnecessarily, 24% not narrowing down therapy and 12% not changing antibiotics in response to resistant isolates.


Whilst correct clinical investigations may be sent and reviewed in the management of uncomplicated UTIs, the results of these are often not documented in the patient’s record and a significant proportion of these results are not acted on appropriately.

  • This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License.

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