By definition, microscopic hematuria refers to the presence of more than red blood cells per high-power microscopic field in urinary sediment from 2 or 3 properly collected urinalysis specimens. This write-up provides some information on this condition.
Hematuria, which is characterized by the presence of blood in urine, is not a disease in itself. However, it might be indicative of an underlying medical condition. It is categorized into two types: gross and microscopic. In case of the former, the traces of blood in urine can be seen with a naked eye. In case of the latter, blood can only be detected during the microscopic analysis of the urine. It is mostly diagnosed incidentally during the course of routine urinalysis.
Microscopic hematuria is defined by the presence of more than 3 red blood cells (RBCs) per high power microscopic field in a centrifuged urine specimen. If the urinalysis result indicates the presence of RBCs beyond the normal range, then diagnostic tests must be conducted to rule out the possibility of diseases. Urinalysis must be conducted at regular intervals to check if this condition is permanent or intermittent in nature. The intermittent type is generally not a cause of serious concern. Traces of blood might be present if the sample is taken right after vigorous physical activity. However, the presence of blood in urine might sometimes be a warning signal of serious diseases. Some of the common causes include urinary tract infections, kidney infections, glomerulonephritis, kidney stones, or sickle cell anemia. If the urinalysis report indicates the presence of blood in case of a person with a family history of kidney diseases, then it would be best to consult a urologist.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Diagnostic tests such as complete blood test and urinalysis are often conducted, if a person has been experiencing unexplained symptoms. These tests help the medical experts ascertain the underlying cause of the symptoms. Urinalysis is often recommended, when a person has been experiencing symptoms related to urinary tract infections, kidney problems, or other problems related to the urinary tract. An analysis of the urine sample involves the study of urine color, clarity and pH of the urine, urine specific gravity and the presence of proteins, glucose, ketones, epithelial cells, white blood cells, red blood cells, and other substances in the urine.
Urinalysis involves visual examination, chemical examination, and microscopic examination. While gross hematuria can be diagnosed by visual examination, a dipstick test is used for examining the urine sample for chemicals. The microscopic examination helps in determining the presence of cells, crystals, and red blood cells and white blood cells. This microscopic examination of the urine sediment helps in detecting the presence of blood in urine. Since this condition could be caused due to a variety of reasons, the treatment will depend on the underlying cause.
Though microscopic hematuria may or may not be a cause of concern, if your urinalysis indicates the presence of red blood cells in urine, you must consult a doctor for urinalysis interpretation and diagnosis of any underlying condition.
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.