Urinary tract infection (UTI) is an uncommon but concerning condition for hospitalized premature infants. A retrospective chart review of all male infants admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) from June 1996 through March 1999 was conducted at the Medical College of Georgia--a large academic medical center with a tertiary Level III NICU--to investigate the frequency and potential prevention of recurrent UTI in hospitalized infants. The effect of circumcision on recurrence of UTI was also investigated. There were 38 infants with 53 UTIs among 744 male infants admitted during the study period (5.1%). Infants were divided into two groups: A1 <37 weeks with a single UTI and A2 <37 weeks with more than one UTI. In groups A1 and A2, 57% of the first UTIs were due to Candida or E. coli, the remaining were due to other gram- negative organisms and Staphylococcus species. Mean gestational age (GA) in groups A1 and A2 were similar (29 +/- 2 weeks, and 29 +/- 4 weeks); however, mean GA of infants with Candida UTI was 27 +/- 2 weeks, and for bacterial UTI, 30 +/- 3 weeks (p<0.01). None of the premature infants in the study had a recurrent UTI once a circumcision was performed. Premature uncircumcised males had an increased risk for UTI (Odds Ratio=11.1, 95% CI, 3.3-28.9, p<0.001). Circumcision appears beneficial in reducing the risk for recurrent UTI in these infants. more info.