Blood in Urine or Hematuria
Pelvis | Urology | Blood in Urine or Hematuria (Symptom)
In the medical field called urology, hematuria represents the condition characterized by the presence of red blood cells, called erythrocytes, in the urine. It may be idiopathic and/or benign, or it can be a sign that there is a kidney stone or a tumor in the urinary tract which involves kidneys, ureters, urinary bladder, prostate and urethra, ranging from trivial to lethal. If white blood cells are found in addition to red blood cells, then it is a signal of urinary tract infection.
Hematuria, or blood in the urine, can be either gross, visible or microscopic, defined by more than three to five red blood cells per high power field when viewed under magnification. Infection of the urine, stemming either from the kidneys or bladder, is a common cause of microscopic hematuria.
Kidney and bladder stones can cause irritation and abrasion of the urinary tract, leading to microscopic or gross hematuria. Other causes of hematuria are: trauma, tumor, kidney disease, prostate infection or inflammation. Medications that increase the risk of bleeding, such as aspirin, warfarin, or clopidogrel, may also lead to bloody urine. Lastly, cancer anywhere along the urinary tract can present with hematuria.
Diagnosis and Treatment
The evaluation of blood in urine consists of taking a history, performing a physical examination, evaluating the urine under a microscope, and obtaining a culture of the urine. Treatments for hematuria vary widely and depend wholly upon the reason for the bleeding. It is important to note that there is often no source found for the hematuria.