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Urine test (Urinalysis)

This post is also available in: हिन्दी (Hindi)

Why the test is needed/ Why is it done ?

This test is done to screen, diagnose or monitor certain diseases and conditions of the body, especially related to kidneys and the urinary tract.

When is it done ?

When a person shows symptoms such as pain abdomen, back pain, frequent urination. This test is also done in routine health check-up and other conditions such as pregnancy, hospital admission and before doing any surgery.

What sample is needed and how is it collected?


The urine test requires a sample of about 30 to 60 ml of urine.

The urine sample has to be collected in a sterile fashion to prevent from contamination by microbes present in the genital area which can give false results.

This is done by using a ‘clean catch’ method, where a person has to void some urine initially and collect a midstream sample of urine while continuing passing urine. After collecting about 30 to 60 ml urine, the person has to void rest of the urine into the toilet. Before collecting the urine sample a person has to clean his genitals. The females are asked to spread their labia and clean their vagina from back to front. The men has to wipe the tip of the penis before collecting the sample.

What are the preparations needed before the test ?

No preparation is required before the test except for the cleaning the genitals.

What is tested?

The urine test checks for the various normal or abnormal constituents of the urine. This is done by means of assessing the physical, chemical and microscopic properties of the urine. This helps in detecting any abnormal constituent in the urine or any normal substance present in abnormal levels in the urine.

The urine is formed by kidneys when it filters the blood to remove toxins and excess fluid from it. During this process, many important substances are held back by the kidneys and many toxins or wastes are excreted along urine. Any condition that alters this functioning of the kidneys, can lead to loss of essential substances and can cause accumulation of toxins.

Thus,many diseases and disorders can be identified in their early phase by checking any abnormal constituents in the urine. Some of these substances can be glucose, protein, bilirubin, red and white blood cells, crystals and bacteria. The presence of these substances can be because of multiple reasons, some them are given below:

1. Elevated amount of substance found in the blood which body tries to remove through urine.

2. Presence of kidney disease.

3. Presence of urinary tract infection (UTI).

There are three phases of urine analysis, which are given below:

1. Visual examination, which can be done by seeing the color and clarity of the urine.

2. Chemical examination, which checks around 9 substances in the urine.

3. Microscopic examination which helps to check and quantify the type of cells, casts, crystals, bacteria and mucus present in the urine.

A microscopic examination is normally done when the results of the others test are not satisfactory or when the doctor ask for it. Your doctor may advise you to repeat the test or to get additional tests done such as blood test or ultrasound scan.

What does the test result mean ?

The result of the urine test may suggest variety of problems. Your doctor would interpret the results by correlating it with your symptoms and results of other tests.


Abnormal results

Abnormal findings may indicate an underlying condition which needs to be evaluated further. To find this, your doctor may ask for some tests such as metabolic panel, complete blood count (CBC), renal function test, liver function test, urine culture or ultrasound or CT abdomen.

The higher the quantity of abnormal substances in the urine such as glucose, protein, red blood cells or white blood cells,the higher are the chances that you would be having an underlying disease or a condition.

The results do not show the exact cause of the findings or whether it is temporary or chronic condition.


Normal results

Normal findings doesn’t necessarily mean that you are disease free.

Some people in the early stages of the disease may not excrete any abnormal substances and their urine may appear absolutely normal. Whereas, some people may release these abnormal substances only few times a day which may be missed by collecting just a single urine sample. This may also be not picked when the sample of urine is very diluted.

For more information about specific results, see the following:

• Visual examination

• Chemical examination

• Microscopic examination


Urine analysis
Microscopic indicated ? Yes
Specific gravity1.0341.003-1.035
Leukocyte esteraseNegativeHNegative
Urine microscopic
RBCOccasionalHNone seen/ hpf
Epithelial cells1-3 squamousSquamous/hpf
WBC10-20HNone seen/ hpf
Is a urine culture indicated Yes


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