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Bacteremia and Mortality with Urinary Catheter–Associated Bacteriuria

  • Quratulain F. Kizilbash (a1) (a2), Nancy J. Petersen (a2) (a3) (a4), Guoqing J. Chen (a2) (a3) (a4), Aanand D. Naik (a2) (a3) (a5) and Barbara W. Trautner (a1) (a2) (a3)...

Although catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI) and catheter-associated asymptomatic bacteriuria (CAABU) are clinically distinct conditions, most literature describing the risks of bacteriuria does not distinguish between them. We studied the relationship between catheter-associated bacteriuria and bacteremia from a urinary source in CAUTI relative to that in CAABU. Second, we investigated whether the presence or absence of urinary symptoms in catheterized patients with bacteriuria was associated with bacteremia from any source or mortality. Finally, we explored the effect of antimicrobial treatment of bacteriuria on subsequent bacteremia from any source and mortality.


We performed a retrospective cohort study with 30 days of follow-up after an initial positive urine culture. CAUTI and CAABU were defined by Infectious Diseases Society of America guidelines.


A large tertiary care facility.


All inpatients with a urinary catheter (external or indwelling) and a positive urine culture between October 2010 and June 2011.


We captured 444 episodes of catheter-associated bacteriuria in 308 patients; 128 (41.6%) patients had CAUTI, and 180 (58.4%) had CAABU. Three episodes of bacteriuria were followed by bacteremia from a urinary source (0.7%). CAUTI, rather than CAABU, was associated with bacteremia from any source, but neither CAUTI nor CAABU predicted subsequent mortality. Use of antimicrobial agents to treat bacteriuria was not associated with either bacteremia from any source or mortality.


Bacteremia from a urinary source was infrequent, and there was no evidence of an association of mortality with symptomatic versus asymptomatic bacteriuria in this population. Antibiotic treatment of bacteriuria did not affect outcomes.

Corresponding author
2002 Holcombe Boulevard, Houston, TX 77030 ( or Aanand Naik, MD, MEDVAMC (152), 2002 Holcombe Boulevard, Houston, TX 77030 (
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Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology
  • ISSN: 0899-823X
  • EISSN: 1559-6834
  • URL: /core/journals/infection-control-and-hospital-epidemiology
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