An uncircumcised boy presenting with symptoms or signs suggestive of a urinary tract infection is more likely to have a UTI than a boy who is circumcised, and it makes no difference whether the boy’s foreskin is tight or not, according to study results published online.
Alexander Sasha Dubrovsky, MDCM, MSc, of the Montreal Children’s Hospital – McGill University Health Centre, and colleagues looked at data from a prospective cross-sectional study that included 440 boys; most of whom were not toilet-trained and who had a catheter urine culture. The researchers said when inserting the catheter, the nurse would note whether the urethral meatus was visible, partially visible or nonvisible. The researchers were testing the hypothesis that having a difficult-to-see urethral opening and a tight foreskin may be more at risk for UTI, given that these circumstances may be better for harboring bacteria.
However, the researchers concluded that regardless of the state of their foreskin, uncircumcised boys were more likely to have UTIs than boys who had been circumcised, about 25% vs. 5%.
Dubrovsky and colleagues suggest that “clinicians continue to consider circumcision status alone, not the degree of urethral visibility, when stratifying risk for boys presenting to the ED with symptoms or signs suggesting a UTI.”
Disclosure: Dr. Dubrovsky reports no relevant financial disclosures.