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How to use… urine dipsticks
  1. J Cyriac1,
  2. Katy Holden1,
  3. Kjell Tullus2
  1. 1Department of Paediatrics, Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust, Broomfield Hospital, Chelmsford, UK
  2. 2Department of Paediatric Nephrology, Great Ormond Street Hospital, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr J Cyriac, Department of Paediatrics, Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust, Broomfield Hospital, Chelmsford, CM1 7ET, UK; Job.Cyriac{at}


‘Urine dipstick’, the commonly used point-of-care test, is an extremely sensitive investigation. Results of this test affected by numerous factors, if not meticulously linked with detailed history and examination, can lead a well-meaning clinician down the wrong clinical pathway. The aim of this article is to provide an overview of this every day test, touching on the physiological and technological basis initially, but mainly focusing on common questions like when to request the dipstick test, the correlation of dipstick results with urine specimen collected by different method and complexities of interpretation of dipstick results in everyday clinical scenarios.

  • Urine Dipstick
  • Urinary Infection
  • Proteinuria
  • Haematuria
  • Urinalysis

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  • Contributors KH: Formulated the first draft of the article and did further revisions. KT: Specialist advice and revision of the article. JC: The conception, design, revision and the overall responsibility of the article.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.