Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Asymptomatic bacteriuria

Table of Contents

Definition

Asymptomatic bacteriuria is a significant number of bacteria in the urine that occurs without usual symptoms such as burning during urination or frequent urination.

Asymptomatic bacteriuria may not need treatment, which makes it different from a bacterial urinary tract infection.


Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Asymptomatic bacteriuria occurs in a small number of healthy individuals. It more often affects women than men. The reasons for the lack of symptoms are not well understood.

Most patients with asymptomatic bacteriuria do not need treatment because the bacteria are not causing any harm. Persons who have urinary catheters often will have bacteriuria, but most will not have symptoms.

Certain people are at a higher risk for kidney infections if they develop asymptomatic bacteriuria. The following increases your risk:

  • Diabetes
  • Infected kidney stones
  • Kidney transplant
  • Older age
  • Pregnancy -- up to 40% of pregnant women with untreated asymptomatic bacteriuria will develop a kidney infection
  • Vesicoureteral reflux in young children


Review Date: 09/17/2010
Reviewed By: David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc., Jatin M. Vyas, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Assistant in Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital.

A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, also known as the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission (www.urac.org)