Catheter urine (CSU)



  • A minimum of 2 ml of urine is required for routine analysis. Exceptions may be made for babies and renal patients. In other patients small samples will not be processed.
  • Samples are screened for pyuria and bacteruria by an automated image analysis system. Samples with no detectable pyuria and bacteruria are reported as negative and are not cultured.
  • Catheter urine samples are only routinely processed in the following circumstances:
    • Symptoms of sepsis
    • Loin pain
    • Raised CRP
    • Urinary retention
    • Urology patients
    • Renal patients
    • Critical care patients
    • As part of an MRSA screen



Sample requirements

30mL urine bottle with preservative

Bottles should be filled to the red line

30mL sterile universals without preservative are accepted

Samples must be collected from the catheter sampling port and not from the catheter bag

30 mL sterile urine container with boric acid preservative

Required information

  • Relevant clinical details
  • Current or recent antibiotic therapy
  • Antibiotic allergies
  • Number of days catheterisation
  • Type of catheter (SPC or urethral)
  • Intermittent self-catheterisation


Samples in 30 mL urine bottles with preservative may be stored at room temperature for up to 24 hours. If transport is delayed beyond that samples should be refrigerated.

Samples in plain sterile universals must be transported without delay. Refrigerate samples if transport is delayed.

Turnaround time

Negative: 1 - 3 days

Positive: 2 - 4 days

Multiply resistant organism require additional testing and may take longer

Page last reviewed: 06/08/2014