Uncomplicated Cystitis

How to Cite This Chapter: Mertz D, Duława J, Drabczyk R. Uncomplicated Cystitis. McMaster Textbook of Internal Medicine. Kraków: Medycyna Praktyczna. https://empendium.com/mcmtextbook/chapter/B31.II.14.8.1. Accessed May 24, 2024.
Last Updated: November 5, 2021
Last Reviewed: November 5, 2021
Chapter Information

Clinical Features And Diagnosis Top

Typical clinical features of uncomplicated cystitis include dysuria, frequency, and suprapubic pain, sometimes also urgency/incontinence and hematuria (in ~40% of patients), as well as suprapubic tenderness. Additionally, leukocyturia and bacteriuria >105 colony-forming units (CFU)/mL (in some patients 102-104 CFU/mL) are seen. Untreated uncomplicated cystitis may last from a few to over 10 days. Urine cultures are usually performed and imaging studies can be considered if the symptoms persist despite treatment or recur within 1 to 4 weeks.


1. First-line agents:

1) Oral nitrofurantoin 100 mg bid for 5 days (preferred agent due to low resistance rates and similar efficacy as sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim).Evidence 1Strong recommendation (downsides clearly outweigh benefits; right action for all or almost all patients). High Quality of Evidence (high confidence that we know true effects of the intervention). Gupta K, Hooton TM, Roberts PL, Stamm WE. Short-course nitrofurantoin for the treatment of acute uncomplicated cystitis in women. Arch Intern Med. 2007 Nov 12;167(20):2207-12. PubMed PMID: 17998493.

2) Other options include fosfomycin 3 g in a single dose (in particular if a strain producing extended-spectrum beta-lactamase [ESBL] is suspected), sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim 800/160 mg bid for 3 days or trimethoprim 100 mg bid for 5 days, or oral cephalosporins (eg, cephalexin 500 mg qid or cefadroxil 500 mg bid for 3 days) and amoxicillin + clavulanic acid 625 mg bid for 3 to 7 days. If the listed antibiotics are not available or not appropriate because of resistance or contraindications in a particular situation or geographic region, other choices may be guided by local circumstances, including induction of resistance in population.

3) Fluoroquinolones that have historically been used as first-line antibiotics should be avoided unless no other options are available.

2. Ibuprofen is inferior to antibiotic treatment, but two-thirds of women with uncomplicated cystitis recover without antibiotics. Therefore, ibuprofen can be considered if patients would prefer to avoid exposure to antibiotics.

3. Follow-up: In female patients with no symptoms persisting after treatment, no follow-up urine testing is indicated.

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