Antibiotic policies for short-term catheter bladder drainage in adults

  • Review
  • Intervention




Urinary tract infections account for about 40% of hospital-acquired (nosocomial) infections, and about 80% of urinary tract infections acquired in hospital are associated with urinary catheters.


To determine if certain antibiotic policies are better than others in terms of prevention of urinary tract infections, complications, quality of life and cost-effectiveness in short-term catheterised adults.

Search methods

We searched the Cochrane Incontinence Group Specialised Register (searched 29 May 2006). Additionally, we examined all reference lists of identified trials.

Selection criteria

All randomised and quasi-randomised trials comparing antibiotic policies for short-term (up to and including 14 days) catheterization in adults.

Data collection and analysis

Data were extracted by both reviewers independently and compared. Disagreements were resolved by discussion. Data were processed as described in the Cochrane Handbook. If data had not been fully reported, clarification was sought directly from the authors of the trial.

Main results

Six parallel-group randomised controlled trials met the inclusion criteria.

In one trial comparing antibiotic prophylaxis with giving antibiotics when clinically indicated amongst female surgical patients who had a urethral catheter for more than 24 hours, symptomatic urinary tract infection was less common in the prophylaxis group (RR 0.20, 95% CI 0.06 to 0.66).

Five trials compared antibiotic prophylaxis with giving antibiotics when microbiologically indicated, bacteriuria, pyuria and gram-negative isolates in patients' urine were less common in the prophylaxis group amongst surgical patients with bladder drainage for at least 24 hours postoperatively. Bacteriuria rates were also about five-fold lower in the prophylaxis group in trials involving urological surgery patients and non-surgical patients.

No trial compared giving antibiotics when microbiologically indicated with giving antibiotics when clinically indicated.

Authors' conclusions

There was weak evidence that antibiotic prophylaxis compared to giving antibiotics when clinically indicated reduced the rate of symptomatic urinary tract infection in female patients with abdominal surgery and a urethral catheter for 24 hours.

The limited evidence indicated that receiving antibiotics during the first three postoperative days or from postoperative day two until catheter removal reduced the rate of bacteriuria and other signs of infection such as pyuria and gram-negative isolates in patients urine in surgical patients with bladder drainage for at least 24 hours postoperatively. There was also limited evidence that prophylactic antibiotics reduced bacteriuria in non-surgical patients.








搜尋資料庫:Cochrane Incontinence Group Specialised Register自從2006年5月29日,另外也參考了所有trial的reference lists。




資料被兩位學者獨立的搜集及比較,而意見分歧的部分均以討論過後獲得共識。資料處理的過程在Cochrane Handbook中有敘述。敘述不足的部分,作者均有在內文中予以澄清。







此翻譯計畫由臺灣國家衛生研究院(National Health Research Institutes, Taiwan)統籌。



Plain language summary

Antibiotic policies for short-term catheter bladder drainage in adults

Catheters may be used to drain the bladder in hospital for short periods of time (less than two weeks). This may cause a urine infection, or an increase in the number of bacteria in the urine. The review found that people who had antibiotics before or during catheter use were less likely to have an infection, and less likely to have a large number of bacteria or pus cells in the urine. However, there was no evidence about the chance of allergic reactions or other side effects from the antibiotics, nor about the chance of developing bacteria with antibiotic resistance.