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Hematuria

Hematuria is a condition in which blood appears in a patient's urine. The blood may be gross (visible to the naked eye) or microscopic (only visible under a microscope). Hematuria can originate from any location along the urinary tract. Common risk factors for the condition include, tobacco use, radiation, overuse of certain pain medication and certain chemicals.

Hematuria can occur as a result of certain conditions. They include:

  • Bladder cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Ureteral cancer
  • Urethral cancer
  • Urinary stone disease
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Pyelonephritis (kidney infection)
  • Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (enlarged prostate)
  • Renal disease
  • Radiation or chemically induced cystitis (inflammation of the bladder)
  • Urinary tract injury
  • Prostatitis (prostate infection)
  • Exercise hematuria (jogger's hematuria)

In addition to blood in the urine, the following symptoms may be present with hematuria:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Pain in the flank or side
  • Urinary difficulty
  • Frequent or urgent urination
  • Painful urination

 

Diagnosis:

Gross hematuria is observed visually by a patient who then seeks medical attention. In instances of microscopic hematuria, diagnosis begins with a urine dipstick test. If the test comes back positive for blood, the urine is observed under a microscope. If three or more red blood cells are seen per high power field on two of three microscopic specimens, the patient's urinary tract is evaluated further to determine the cause of the condition. This evaluation typically consists of a urinalysis and a microscopic urine examination to determine signs of kidney disease, urinary tract infection and the location of the bleeding. Patients may also undergo a urinary cytology test to observe abnormal cells in the urine and a blood test to measure elevated serum creatinine levels.

Other tests used to evaluate hematuria may include:

  • X-rays (including intravenous pyelogram (IVP))
  • CT scans
  • CT urography
  • MRI (in patients with elevated creatinine levels or who are allergic to X-ray dye)
  • Cytoscopic evaluation

 

Treatments:

Treatment of hematuria can vary from antibiotic therapy to surgery depending on the cause of the condition.

Click here to learn more about the symptoms and treatment options for hematuria.

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