What Factors Are Involved in a Hematuria Diagnosis?

C. Webb
C. Webb
A urinalysis is typically used to help diagnose hematuria.
A urinalysis is typically used to help diagnose hematuria.

Blood in the urine, also called hematuria, can be caused by several medical conditions that range from mild to life-threatening. When a patient presents with hematuria, a diagnostic investigation should be conducted and the underlying reason for the condition treated. Factors to consider in a hematuria diagnosis include other symptoms, patient age, past medical history, and lifestyle.

Kidney stones can cause hematuria.
Kidney stones can cause hematuria.

A hematuria diagnosis is conducted in the same manner, whether or not blood in the urine is visible to the eye or is only detected through a microscopic examination. The possible causes remain the same, regardless of how much blood is present. Sometimes, the blood is accompanied by blood clots; at other times, it is not visible at all and is only discovered through a routine medical examination.

Hematuria may be a sign of kidney failure.
Hematuria may be a sign of kidney failure.

Infection, kidney stones, prostate issues, and bladder stones are examples of medical conditions that can cause hematuria to develop. Cancer of the kidneys, bladder, or urinary tract tubes can also cause blood to appear in the urine. Hematuria might appear if the patient develops a blood clotting disorder.

Other factors that are considered for a hematuria diagnosis relate to the patient's lifestyle, age, and medical history. Smokers are more prone to bladder cancer than non-smokers. Men with prostate problems may develop the symptom of hematuria.

While no possible disease or disorder should be ignored during a hematuria diagnosis, past medical histories and current lifestyle choices can illuminate what the most likely possibilities might be. Taking a medical history from the patient is important for a hematuria diagnosis. A record of current medications, both prescribed and over the counter, should also be listed, as certain medications can cause bleeding within the body.

The first factor typically considered in a hematuria diagnosis is whether or not the patient has an infection. Bladder and kidney infections are a leading cause of blood in the urine. Diagnosis can be made with a simple urinalysis. Antibiotics are prescribed if these problems are found.

When undergoing a hematuria diagnosis, female patients should be asked about their monthly cycles. Endometriosis, a uterine disorder, can cause blood-tinged urine while a woman is on her period. A woman on her period may mistake blood from the uterus for blood from the bladder, so distinguishing between the two should be done before further testing is ordered.

In rare cases, hematuria is present without a cause. Only after considering all factors, running tests, and ruling out all other possibilities should a diagnosis of idiopathic or unknown origin be made. In addition to running tests for diagnostic purposes, factors including what the patient last ate should be considered. Beets, tomatoes, and other foods and beverages can turn the urine pink or light red, giving the appearance of hematuria when blood is not actually present.

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    • A urinalysis is typically used to help diagnose hematuria.
      By: jcreaxion
      A urinalysis is typically used to help diagnose hematuria.
    • Kidney stones can cause hematuria.
      By: airborne77
      Kidney stones can cause hematuria.
    • Hematuria may be a sign of kidney failure.
      By: tomschoumakers
      Hematuria may be a sign of kidney failure.