Smelly Urine a Red Flag for Kids' UTI04/02/12
MONDAY, April 2 (HealthDay News) -- When parents say their
child's urine smells bad, doctors should test for a urinary tract
infection, Canadian researchers report.
To examine the link between smelly urine and urinary tract
infections (UTIs), researchers from Sainte-Justine University
Hospital Center at the University of Montreal surveyed the parents
of 331 children ranging in age from 1 month to 3 years who were
tested in the emergency room for a suspected UTI.
The study revealed smelly urine was the risk factor most
strongly linked to UTI -- 57 percent of the children who tested
positive for a UTI had smelly urine, while only 32 percent of
children who tested negative did.
Although stinky urine increases the likelihood that a child has
a UTI, the researchers admitted that this symptom alone isn't
enough to make a diagnosis.
The findings were published online April 2 in the May 2012 issue
of the journal
Pediatricians agreed that stinky urine may be one of the few
signs that a young child has a UTI.
"UTIs in children can present in several different ways depending on the age of the child," said Dr. Estevan Garcia, director of pediatric emergency medicine at Maimonides Medical Center in New York City. "Young children do not often complain of pain or burning when they urinate. UTIs are especially difficult to diagnose in very young infants, where fever may be the only symptom."
Dr. Roya Samuels, a pediatrician at Cohen Children's Medical
Center in New Hyde Park, N.Y., said: "Although associated with UTIs
in this study, malodorous urine may also be associated with an
array of noninfectious causes, including dehydration or the
consumption of certain foods, medications or vitamins.
"Clinical decision-making rules regarding UTIs in children do not include taking into account parental reports regarding the smell of a child's urine," Samuels added. "This study suggests that perhaps urine odor be included in the diagnostic algorithm for UTIs in young children with fever of unknown source."
The U.S. National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information
Clearinghouse provides more information on
UTIs in children.
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Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.