Hematuria (patient information)
Hematuria On the Web
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Hematuria is the presence of red blood cells (RBCs) in the urine. In microscopic hematuria, the urine appears normal to the naked eye, but examination with a microscope shows a high number of RBCs. Gross hematuria can be seen with the naked eye-the urine is red or the color of cola.
What are the symptoms of Hematuria?
- Passing blood clots or urine appear red in color.
- Passing stones in urine.
- Occurring in the early morning void or whole day.
- Recent infection or a recent sore throat.
What causes Hematuria?
Several conditions can cause hematuria, most of them not serious. For example, exercise may cause hematuria that goes away in 24 hours. Many people have hematuria without any other related problems. Often no specific cause can be found. But because hematuria may be the result of a tumor or other serious problem, a doctor should be consulted.
Who is at highest risk?
People of all age group including children can have hematuria. Certain factors increase the chances of getting hematuria
- Recent infection: Postinfectious glomerulonephritis
- Exercise: Long distance runners are prone to exercise induced urinary bleeding.
- Age: An enlarged prostate in males older than 50 can cause hematuria.
- Sex: 50% of all women suffer from urinary tract infection at least once in their life time, which can also cause urinary bleeding.
To find the cause of hematuria, or to rule out certain causes, the doctor may order a series of tests, including urinalysis, blood tests, kidney imaging studies, and cystoscopic examination.
Urinalysis is the examination of urine for various cells and chemicals. In addition to finding RBCs, the doctor may find white blood cells that signal a urinary tract infection or casts, which are groups of cells molded together in the shape of the kidneys' tiny filtering tubes, that signal kidney disease. Excessive protein in the urine also signals kidney disease.
Blood tests may reveal kidney disease if the blood contains high levels of wastes that the kidneys are supposed to remove.
Kidney imaging studies include ultrasound, computerized tomography (CT) scan, or intravenous pyelogram (IVP). An IVP is an x ray of the urinary tract. Imaging studies may reveal a tumor, a kidney or bladder stone, an enlarged prostate, or other blockage to the normal flow of urine.
A cystoscope can be used to take pictures of the inside of the bladder. It has a tiny camera at the end of a thin tube, which is inserted through the urethra. A cystoscope may provide a better view of a tumor or bladder stone than can be seen in an IVP.
When to seek urgent medical care?
Blood in the urine should never be ignored. Tell your doctor about this symptom and get an appropriate evaluation, especially if you have unexplained weight loss, discomfort with urination, frequent urination, or urgent urination.
Call your doctor right away if:
- You have fever, nausea, vomiting, shaking chills, or pain in your abdomen, side, or back
- You are unable to urinate
- You are passing blood clots in your urine
Also call your doctor if:
- You have pain with sexual intercourse or heavy menstrual bleeding -- the problem may be related to your reproductive organs
- You have urine dribbling, nighttime urination, or difficulty starting your urinary flow -- the problem may be related to your prostate
Treatment for hematuria depends on the cause. If no serious condition is causing the hematuria, no treatment is necessary.
Where to find medical care for Hematuria?
What to expect (Outlook/Prognosis)?
The prognosis depends on the severity of the disease. Finding the cause is the main factor which determines the prognosis.
As hematuria has a vast majority of causes the complications depends on the specific etiology.