Skip to main content
  • Poster presentation
  • Open access
  • Published:

Antimicrobial prescribing for urinary tract infections in patients undergoing total hip or knee arthroplasty (THA/TKA)


Patients undergoing THA/TKA were screened pre- & postoperatively with urinalysis (UA) including urine dipstick & microscopy. We hypothesized that: 1) many patients without evidence of urinary tract infection (UTI) receive antibiotics if clinicians base treatment on UA results alone; 2) a protocol for screening patients for UTI would decrease treatment for UTI without increasing surgical site infection (SSI) rates.


To identify determinants of treatment for UTI among patients undergoing THA or TKA; to assess the effect of implementing a protocol for screening patients for UTI before THA/TKA on antimicrobial use and SSI rates.


We conducted a retrospective cohort study of 200 consecutive patients undergoing THA/TKA from 2/21 - 6/30/2011 & a prospective cohort study of 50 patients undergoing these procedures from 5/21 - 7/17/2012 to identify factors influencing treatment for UTIs. We conducted a before-after study to assess the outcome of implementing a screening protocol.


The strongest determinants of pre- or postoperative treatment for UTI were positive leukocyte esterase (LE; P < 0.0001; P < 0.0001) and urine white blood cell count > 5 (P = 0.01; P = 0.01). At least 59.7% of patients treated did not have clinical evidence of UTI. The screening protocol was revised such that all patients with a positive LE or nitrite test have urine cultures. Patients were treated for UTIs if the cultures grow > 100,000 CFU of 1 organism. Subsequently, the number of patients receiving antimicrobial treatment for presumed UTI decreased 80.2%; the SSI rate did not increase.


A new protocol for diagnosis and treatment of UTIs was associated with a significant decrease in treatment for presumed UTI but the incidence of SSI did not increase. These results suggest that most patients with positive LE do not need treatment for UTI before THA/TKA.

Disclosure of interest

None declared.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Open Access  This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made.

The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder.

To view a copy of this licence, visit

The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Bailin, S., Noiseux, N., Pottinger, J. et al. Antimicrobial prescribing for urinary tract infections in patients undergoing total hip or knee arthroplasty (THA/TKA). Antimicrob Resist Infect Control 4 (Suppl 1), P220 (2015).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • DOI: