(HealthDay News) – Parental reports of malodorous urine increase the likelihood of a diagnosis of a urinary tract infection (UTI) in young children being evaluated for a suspected infection.

Marie Gauthier, MD, of the University of Montreal, and colleagues conducted a prospective consecutive cohort study of 331 children (median age, 12 months) for whom a urine culture was ordered in the emergency department for a suspected UTI. A questionnaire was administered to parents.

The researchers found that the criteria for UTI were met in 51 children (15%). Parents of 57% of children with UTI, and 32% without, reported malodorous urine. Malodorous urine was associated with UTI (odds ratio [OR], 2.83); the significant association persisted after adjusting for gender and the presence of vesicoureteral reflux (OR, 2.73).

“Parental reporting of malodorous urine increases the probability of UTI among young children being evaluated for suspected UTI,” the authors write. “However, this association is not strong enough to definitely rule in or out a diagnosis of UTI.”

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