Two most frequently used diagnostic tests that can help to diagnose a condition in a person are urine test and blood test. Usually a physician orders his or her patients to give samples of the urine and blood for different types of tests. Analysis of urine sample is known as urinalysis. It is mainly used to confirm or rule out diseases such as urinary tract infections, diabetes, renal disease, kidney stones and others. For urinalysis, a patient must collect 10-15 millimeters of the first morning urine in a sterile specimen container and take it to laboratory for testing. There are different techniques and instruments that are used for urinalysis. Results of urinalysis are provided in urinalysis report that can have many interpretations. In order to understand interpretation of urinalysis report we should learn different terms that are used in the report.
Interpretation of Urinalysis ReportColor of Urine
Visual examination of urine sample is important part of urinalysis. Unusual color of the urine can indicate presence of different diseases and disorders. For example, urine of a healthy person is pale to dark yellow or amber in color. On the other hand, urine that is dark yellow, brown, yellowish brown, blue, bluish green, pink or red is a sign of a certain health problem. Blood in urine may indicate bladder disease or kidney stones.
Clarity of UrineIn urinalysis, clarity of the urine is described as clear, slightly cloudy, cloudy or turbid. Cloudy urine can be a sign of urinary tract infections because it indicates the presence of excessive cellular material or high levels of sediments. Bladder surgery can also cause urine to be cloudy. Protein in the urine gives foamy appearance to the sample. Kidney disorders are usually responsible for protein excretion in urine.
pH of the urine measures the acidity or alkalinity of urine with the help of thin plastic strips called dipsticks. Depending on the presence of specific substance dipstick can change in different colors. Normal pH of urine ranges between 4.6 and 8.0. Low pH of urine can be due to diabetic ketoacidosis, emphysema or diarrhea whilst high pH levels may indicate renal failure or urinary tract infection.
Protein in Urine
The kidneys normally do not filter out protein from the blood. However, if protein is excreted in urine it can be due to kidney disease and other serious conditions such as heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis or urinary tract infection. Proteinuria is abnormally high level pf protein in urine that usually appears foamy.
Leukocytes in Urine
Leukocytes or white blood cells are not normally found in urine. Presence of white blood cells in urine (hematuria) most often indicates urinary tract infection, bladder infection or kidney infection. Also, hematuria can be due to tumors, or kidney stones. However, in urine of pregnant women, protein and leukocytes are commonly present.