Urinalysis

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Also known as: Urine microscopy
Related tests: Urine culture

At a Glance

Why Get Tested?

To look for metabolic and kidney disorders

When to Get Tested?

On admission to a hospital; preparation for surgery; as part of a medical examination; or when evaluating a new pregnancy. It may be done if you have tummy or back pain, frequent or painful urination, or blood in the urine

Sample Required?

Sample of urine (20-50 mls) in a sterile container

The Test Sample

What is being tested?

This test identifies and measures the byproducts of normal and abnormal metabolism, which are eliminated from your body in urine.

Urinalysis consists of two distinct testing phases:

  1. chemical examination, which tests chemically for a number of substances that provide valuable information about health and disease; and
  2. microscopic examination, which identifies and counts the type of cells, casts, crystals, and other components (bacteria, mucus ) that can be present in urine.

Today, a routine urinalysis consists of both the chemical and microscopic examinations.

 

How is the sample collected for testing?

Urine for urinalysis can be collected at any time. The first morning sample is the most valuable because it is more concentrated and more likely to yield abnormal results.

Because of the potential (particularly in women) to contaminate urine with bacteria and cells from the surrounding skin, it is important to first clean the genitalia. Men should wipe the tip of the penis; women should spread the labia of the vagina and clean from front to back.

As you start to urinate, let the urine fall into the toilet, then collect a sample of urine in the container provided.

The Test

Common Questions

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NOTE: This article is based on research that utilizes the sources cited here as well as the collective experience of the Lab Tests Online Editorial Review Board. This article is periodically reviewed by the Editorial Board and may be updated as a result of the review. Any new sources cited will be added to the list and distinguished from the original sources used.