Hematuria laboratory findings

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Steven C. Campbell, M.D., Ph.D. Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Venkata Sivakrishna Kumar Pulivarthi M.B.B.S [1]


Patients with GH must be assessed for hemodynamic stability with careful attention to vital signs, anemia with a complete blood count, and, for patients on anticoagulation, coagulation parameters to ensure that levels are within the therapeutic range. After initial stabilization, diagnostic evaluation should then proceed, with cause-specific management. Often, the diagnosis is made on the basis of the medical history and urine and blood tests—especially in young people in whom the risk of malignancy is negligible and the symptoms are generally self-limited.[1]



Urinalysis is a helpful test to diagnose renal and urological diseases. The urine dipstick test for blood initially identifies patients with microscopic hematuria. The urine microscopic evaluation not only confirms hematuria but also helps differentiate glomerular from nonglomerular sources of bleeding. In glomerular hematuria, the RBCs are exposed to large changes in pH and osmotic pressure as they go through the renal tubules, making them dysmorphic.  In nonglomerular hematuria, the RBCs tend to be homogeneous and normal in shape. The presence of proteinuria of 2+ or greater by dipstick also suggests glomerular hematuria. 

Microscopy findings[2]

  • Positive for urinary casts (suggesting renal disease)
  • Urinary crystals (suggesting calculous disease)
  • Dysmorphic red cells (suggesting a glomerular cause of hematuria)
  • Atypical or malignant epithelial cells suggest a tumour.

Urine Cytology

Its sensitivity is higher for high-grade bladder tumors and lower for low-grade tumors; only 15% of patients with “atypical and/or suspicious” cytologic findings may have underlying urinary tract malignancy. Poorly-adhesive grossly abnormal cells suggestive of poorly differentiated tumors and carcinoma in-situ.

Urine Tumor Markers

Urine tumor marker tests detect antigens and other substances unique to cancer cells, mostly of the bladder, including the bladder tumor antigen (BTA) test, nuclear matrix protein 22 (NMP22), carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), cytokeratin tissue polypeptide-specific antigen (TPS), fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) assay, Lewis X antigen, telomerase activity, and urinary bladder cancer tumor marker (UBCTM) tests.

Urine Culture

Detects bacterial cause of UTI particularly from those with irritative voiding symptoms or a history of urinary tract infection.

Serum Creatinine and Calculation of Glomerular Filtration Rate

If the clinical evaluation and urinalysis suggest a glomerular (nephrological) cause of hematuria, then renal function should be measured. Glomerular filtration rate (GFR) is the most reliable estimate of the renal function.GFR cannot be measured directly, so it is estimated using the urinary clearance of a filtration marker. Clearance is the rate at which a substance is cleared from the plasma by excretion in the urine.Serum creatinine is the most commonly used endogenous filtration marker.

Other Blood Tests

When suspecting a nephrological disease, other tests to consider would include complete blood count, blood urea nitrogen, coagulation studies, and serologic studies such as complement levels, antinuclear antibody (ANA), hepatitis B and C titers, antiglomerular basement membrane antibody, antineutrophilic cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA), antistreptolysin O titer (ASO), and cryoglobulin assay.


  1. Cohen, Robert A.; Brown, Robert S. (2003). "Microscopic Hematuria". New England Journal of Medicine. 348 (23): 2330–2338. doi:10.1056/NEJMcp012694. ISSN 0028-4793.
  2. "www.surgeryjournal.co.uk".