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Purple urine bag syndrome (PUBS) is a complication of urinary tract infections (UTIs) where catheter bags and tubing turn purple. It is alarming for patients, families, and clinicians; however, it is in itself a benign phenomenon. PUBS is the result of UTIs with specific bacteria that produce sulphatases and phosphatases which lead tryptophan metabolism to produce indigo (blue) and indirubin (red) pigments, a mixture of which becomes purple. Risk factors include female gender, immobility, constipation, chronic catheterisation, and renal disease. Management involves reassurance, antibiotics, and regular changing of catheters, although there are debates regarding how aggressively to treat and no official guidelines. Prognosis is good, but PUBS is associated with high morbidity and mortality due to the backgrounds of patients. Here, we review the literature available on PUBS, present a summary of case studies from the last five years, and propose the Oxford Urine Chart as a tool to aid such diagnoses.

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Journal article


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Diagnosis, Differential, Humans, Proteus Infections, Urinary Tract Infections