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Urinalysis

A test of a urine sample that can reveal many problems of the urinary tract and other body systems. The sample may be observed for color, cloudiness, concentration; signs of drug use; chemical composition, including glucose; the presence of protein, blood cells, or germs; or other signs of disease. NIH - National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

About Urinalysis

What is urinalysis?

Urinalysis can be part of a routine examination and is frequently performed upon admission to the hospital and before surgery. The test can also follow a preliminary rapid urine test that produced abnormal results, so that urinalysis can be used to check those results. Complete urinalysis is done in a laboratory. It is usually made up of 3 parts:

  • Assessment of the color, clarity and concentration of the urine
  • Examination of the chemical composition of the urine with a test strip
  • Examination of the urine using a microscope to identify bacteria, cells and cell parts

Microscopic examination of the solid parts of urine: the picture shows red blood cells (above), white blood cells (middle) and a cast of clumped-together white blood cells (below).

Urinalysis is used to find the cause of or monitor urinary tract infections, bleeding in the urinary system, or kidney or liver disease... Read more about Urinalysis

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Accuracy of urinalysis dipstick techniques in predicting significant proteinuria in pregnancy

This review assessed the accuracy of urine dipsticks in predicting significant proteinuria in pregnancy. The authors concluded that the accuracy of dipstick urinalysis is poor and of limited usefulness in ruling in or ruling out pre-eclampsia. The conclusions are supported by the results presented, but should be interpreted with some caution given the differing estimates from the individual studies.

Hypertension in Pregnancy: The Management of Hypertensive Disorders During Pregnancy

This clinical guideline concerns the management of hypertensive disorders in pregnancy and their complications from preconception to the postnatal period. For the purpose of this guideline, ‘pregnancy’ includes the antenatal, intrapartum and postpartum (6 weeks after birth) periods. The guideline has been developed with the aim of providing guidance in the following areas: information and advice for women who have chronic hypertension and are pregnant or planning to become pregnant; information and advice for women who are pregnant and at increased risk of developing hypertensive disorders of pregnancy; management of pregnancy with chronic hypertension; management of pregnancy in women with gestational hypertension; management of pregnancy for women with pre-eclampsia before admission to critical care level 2 setting; management of pre-eclampsia and its complications in a critical care setting; information, advice and support for women and healthcare professionals after discharge to primary care following a pregnancy complicated by hypertension; care of the fetus during pregnancy complicated by a hypertensive disorder.

Systematic review and metaanalysis: urinary antigen tests for Legionellosis

This review concluded that Legionella urinary antigen for serotype 1 appeared to have excellent specificity and modest sensitivity for the diagnosis of clinical pneumonia, but that limitations of the available evidence meant that test performance may have been overestimated. Despite several limitations of the review and the poor quality of the available data, the overall conclusion seems appropriate.

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Summaries for consumers

Understanding urine tests

Most people have already had a urine sample taken at some point in their life. A urine sample is needed for a urine test, which is used for instance to check for a particular disease or to monitor its progress. Using a urine test strip can already give an indication of a urinary tract infection, for example.

Type 1 diabetes: Measuring sugar levels in blood and urine yourself

Many people with diabetes mellitus measure their blood sugar levels themselves. For those who inject insulin several times a day, checking their sugar levels with a blood glucose meter is an important part of their daily treatment.The amount of insulin that is injected at mealtimes depends on various factors, including the measured blood sugar (glucose) level. Sugar levels in blood or urine can be measured in various ways.

Type 2 diabetes: Measuring sugar levels in blood and urine yourself

Many people with diabetes mellitus measure their blood sugar levels themselves. For those who inject insulin several times a day, checking their sugar levels with a blood glucose meter is an important part of their daily treatment.The amount of insulin injected at mealtimes depends on various factors, including the measured blood sugar (glucose) level. Sugar levels in blood or urine can be measured in various ways.

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