Urology Center of Englewood

Hematuria (Blood in the Urine)

Overview

Hematuria refers to the presence of red blood cells in the urine. Hematuria may be either “gross” or “microscopic.” Gross hematuria is visible to the naked eye: your urine may appear red or cola-colored. Microscopic hematuria, in contrast, is only detectable by urine testing or by looking at a sample of urine under a microscope.[1]

If you experience blood in the urine, it’s important to be evaluated by a physician. In some cases, no underlying cause will be found. Other cases, however, may be due to conditions such as urinary tract infections, kidney stones, prostate enlargement, or cancer. Cancers that may lead to blood in the urine include bladder cancer, kidney cancer, and prostate cancer.[2]

How is Hematuria Evaluated?

Urinalysis: The presence and amount of blood in the urine can by assessed by a urine dipstick test and by studying the urine under a microscope. Several other urine tests may also be performed, and can help to detect problems such as kidney disease, urinary tract infections, and even cancer.

Blood tests: Blood tests provide information about kidney function and other aspects of your health.

Imaging: Imaging with tools such as x-rays, ultrasound, or computerized tomography (CT) may be used to look for tumors, kidney or bladder stones, an enlarged prostate, or other problems.

Cystoscopy: Cystoscopy involves the use of a thin tube and tiny camera to view the inside of the urethra and bladder. It can provide information about problems such as bladder cancer or bladder stones.

Management of Hematuria

The management of hematuria involves the treatment of the underlying cause. If no serious cause is identified, no treatment is needed, although your doctor may recommend follow-up visits.

References:


[1] National Kidney & Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NKUDIC). Hematuria (Blood in the Urine). NIH Publication No. 07-4559.

[2] Margulis V, Sagalowsky AI. Assessment of Hematuria. Medical Clinics of North America. 2011;95:153-159.