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Review: specific combinations of symptoms effectively rule in the diagnosis of urinary tract infection based on history alone

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QUESTION: Are history taking and physical examination accurate and precise for diagnosis of acute urinary tract infection (UTI) in women?

Data sources

English language studies were identified by searching Medline (1966 to September 2001); contacting experts in the field; and by reviewing bibliographies, core articles, and 3 commonly used textbooks.

Study selection

Studies were selected if they contained original data on the accuracy or precision of history taking or physical examination for diagnosing acute uncomplicated UTI in women. Studies were excluded if they evaluated infants, children or adolescents, pregnant women, nursing home patients, or if there were insufficient data to calculate likelihood ratios (LRs).

Data extraction

Data were extracted independently by 2 reviewers on methodological quality and patient characteristics. Published raw data were used to calculate …

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  • Source of funding: no external funding.

  • For correspondence: Dr S Bent, San Francisco VA Medical Center, San Francisco, CA, USA. bent{at}