According to medical experts, some amount of red blood cells (RBCs) are considered perfectly normal in the urine. This is so because millions of dead RBCs are discharged through the urine every day, as the body gets rid of inefficient and dead blood cells. In medical terminology, blood in the urine is called hematuria. Hematuria is generally of two types; microscopic hematuria and macroscopic hematuria. In microscopic hematuria there is an abnormal count of red blood cells, but it can't be visualized by the naked eyes. In macroscopic hematuria, also known as gross hematuria, the amount of blood cells is enough to cause significant changes in the color of the blood turning it from red to pink or brown.
What Causes it?
Medical conditions that are commonly associated with hematuria may include:
- Kidney infections
- Hypercalciuria (presence of extra calcium)
- Urinary tract infection
- Urinary bladder infection
- Urine blockage
- Kidney inflammation (glomerulonephritis)
- Renal tuberculosis
- Abdominal pain
- Sickle cell disease
- Gentiourinary tumors
- Ureteropelvic Junction (UPJ) obstruction
- Urolithiasis (higher concentration of minerals in the urinary tract)
- Vascular anomalies
In the microscopic hematuria, there are hardly any symptoms, however the associated problems may show several symptoms.
If the child is suffering from urinary infections, he may feel the urge to urinate frequently or may complain about burning sensation during urination.
If there is a urinary or kidney stone problem, then the child may experience renal colic pain.
Mostly, when the child complains of painful urination or abdominal pain frequently, the doctor will go for some diagnostic tests to get to the root of the problem.
To be diagnosed for hematuria, a child has to go through various tests. These include blood tests and cystoscopy, that is a test in which the urinary bladder and urinary tracts are examined through the urethra with the help of a viewing tube. However, not every child is required to go through the cystoscopy test. In most of the cases, a renal and urinary bladder ultrasound is considered sufficient for diagnosis. Radiographic imaging is also found to be very helpful in diagnosing hematuria in children and is recommended by the doctor, if need arises.
The treatment of hematuria involves a critical study of the patient's medication history and diagnostic tests. The urologist will determine the type of treatment based on the information gathered through repeated tests and medical history of the child. For example, if the child has a kidney stone related problem, then the treatment would involve a kidney transplant or removal of urinary stones. Antibiotic treatments are prescribed for children suffering from urinary tract infections.
Presence of urine in the blood of children is a problem that needs to be handled with care and patience. The health graph of the child must be observed on a regular, weekly and monthly basis. Parents should not panic during treatment process as hematuria is a medical condition that can be cured with proper medication.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert. The complexities of hematuria in children must be addressed by an expert pediatric nephrologist.