Collection and Transportation of Urine Specimens

Urine analysis aids in the diagnosis and treatment of urinary tract infections and the detection of metabolic disorders. Accurate results depend on the collection methods, container type, transportation, and the handling of the specimen. The type of specimen and the method of collection varies and depends on the type of test requested. 

Routine Urinalysis:

Specimen should be collected in a clear, dry, clean container with a tight fitting lid. (If culture and sensitivity are also ordered, the container should be sterile). A regular voided specimen is acceptable for routine urinalysis. However, to avoid contamination of the specimen, a midstream collection is preferable.

Urine Culture and Sensitivity:

Urine for C & S must be collected in a sterile container. A midstream clean-catch collection procedure ensures that the specimen is free of contamination from external genital areas. Specimens for C & S and other microbiological studies should be transported at room temperature and processed within 2 hours of collection. Alternatively, specimens may be refrigerated and processed within 24 hours.  Also, urine may be transported at room temperature in a tube with preservative and processed within 24 hours.   Urine culture transport tubes may be used if there is a delay in processing.

Urine Drug Screening:

A random sample in a dry, clean container with a tight fitting lid is required.

Other Urine Tests:

Numerous chemistry tests can be performed on urine specimens. Many of these tests require a pooled timed specimen such as a 24-hour specimen.