Hematuria

Overview

Hematuria is the presence of red blood cells (RBCs) in the urine. The urine is often examined under a microscope to view evidence of RBCs. In some cases, a discoloration will be apparent and the urine will appear red or as the color of cola to the naked eye.

Causes

Most of the causes are not serious. In some cases, strenuous exercise will cause blood in the urine. This usually goes away in a day. More serious causes include tumors, kidney disease, infections or an injury. Many people have hematuria without having any other related problems. Many people have hematuria without having any other related problems. To determine the cause of hematuria, or to rule out certain causes, a series of tests may be ordered.

Diagnosis

In addition to a complete medical history and physical examination, diagnostic procedures for hematuria may include:

  • Urinalysis Laboratory examination of urine for various cells and chemicals, such as RBCs, white blood cells, infection, or excessive protein.

  • Blood tests Laboratory examination of blood for high levels of waste products.

  • Intravenous pyelogram (IVP) A series of X-rays of the kidney, ureters, and bladder with the injection of a contrast dye into the vein. This is done to detect tumors, abnormalities, kidney stones or any obstructions. It’s also used to assess renal blood flow.

  • Cystoscopy (also called cystourethroscopy) An examination in which a scope, a flexible tube and viewing device, is inserted through the urethra to examine the bladder and urinary tract for structural abnormalities or obstructions, such as tumors or stones.

Treatment

Specific treatment for hematuria will be determined by your doctor based on:

  • Your age, overall health and medical history
  • Extent of the disease
  • Underlying cause of the disease
  • Your tolerance for specific medications, procedures or therapies
  • Expectations for the course of the disease
  • Your opinion or preference

If you experience blood in your urine that lasts more than a day, tell your healthcare provider.

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