Hematuria (Blood in Urine)

Types & Causes

Blood in the urine (hematuria) is a condition in which blood appears in a patient’s urine. There are two types of blood in the urine, 1) Gross—visible to the naked eye, or 2) Microscopic—only visible under a microscope in a lab.

Both gross and microscopic hematuria can have the same causes, and neither one is necessarily more serious than the other. Along with either type, you may notice other symptoms, such as pain, pressure, or burning when you urinate, abdominal pain, or back pain. Or, you may not notice any other symptoms. No matter how much blood is found, the cause of the bleeding needs to be identified. This is one of the most common reasons patients are referred to a urologist.

Many conditions can cause blood in the urine. Some of these have no medical significance and do not require treatment. In fact, most of the time, the cause of hematuria is not serious. These conditions usually go away by themselves. Others can be serious and require immediate treatment. Treatment depends on the underlying cause of the bleeding.  A urologist is trained to diagnose and treat hematuria (blood in the urine).

Blood in the urine should never be ignored. The PeeDocs can evaluate you to identify the cause of the bleeding and treat it, if necessary. Hematuria can originate from any location along the urinary tract.

Hematuria can occur due to a wide range of conditions. Many of these include:

  • Urinary tract stones

  • Urinary tract infection

  • Kidney infection

  • Benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlarged prostate)

  • Renal-cystic disease

  • Inflammation of the bladder

  • Urinary tract injury

  • Prostatitis (prostate infection)

  • Exercise hematuria (jogger’s hematuria)

  • Trauma to the kidney, bladder or urethra

  • Bladder cancer

  • Kidney cancer

  • Prostate cancer

  • Ureteral cancer

  • Urethral cancer

  • Penile cancer

Diagnosis & Testing

Blood in the urine 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 then observed under a microscope.

 

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.  In certain cases molecular or DNA markers are also checked through a urine test.  Blood is checked to assess kidney function.

 

Other tests used to evaluate hematuria usually include:

  • CT Urogram

  • Ultrasound (in patients with elevated creatinine levels or who are allergic to X-ray dye)

  • Cytoscopic evaluation

 

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

 

Again, most of the time the cause of blood in the urine is not serious. However, it should not be ignored. If you observe or experience any of the symptoms described above, make an appointment with the PeeDocs.

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