• Blood in Urine

    (Hematuria—Adult)

    Definition

    Blood in the urine is also called hematuria. Normally, urine does not contain blood.
    There are two kinds of hematuria:
    • Microscopic hematuria—Urine contains a very small amount of blood, which is not visible to the naked eye.
    • Gross hematuria—Urine is visibly discolored by blood, appearing red or tea-colored.

    Causes

    In some cases, the cause of hematuria is never found. The list of known causes is lengthy. Some more common causes include:

    Risk Factors

    Risk factors include:
    • Smoking
    • Medicines (eg, certain antibiotics and pain medicines)
    • Recent upper respiratory tract infection
    • Family history of kidney problems
    Kidney Stones Can Cause Microscopic Hematuria
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    Symptoms

    In some cases, there may not be additional symptoms.
    But, if you have an underlying condition, you may have other symptoms. For example, kidney stones can cause blood in the urine, along with pain in the side, abdomen, or groin.

    When Should I Call My Doctor?

    Call your doctor any time you notice blood in your urine.

    Diagnosis

    Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. You may be referred to a doctor who specializes in kidney disease (nephrologist) or the urinary system (urologist).
    Your doctor may need to test your bodily fluids. This can be done with:
    • Urine tests—tests to confirm the presence of blood and look for protein, bacteria, or cancer cells in the urine
    • Blood tests—tests to check how well the kidneys are functioning and to look for medical conditions that cause hematuria
    Your doctor may need to view your bodily structures. This can be done with:

    Treatment

    Treatment will depend on the cause of hematuria. Some causes of hematuria require no treatment (eg, exercise-induced) or will resolve on their own (eg, passage of a kidney stone). Other causes will respond to medicine. For example, treating a urinary tract infection with antibiotics will stop the hematuria. Still other causes may require surgery, such as the removal of a bladder or treatment for prostate cancer .

    Prevention

    Treating the underlying condition that causes hematuria may help prevent it from occurring.

    RESOURCES

    American Academy of Family Physicians http://familydoctor.org

    National Kidney Foundation http://www.kidney.org

    CANADIAN RESOURCES

    BC Health Guide http://www.bchealthguide.org

    The Kidney Foundation of Canada http://www.kidney.ca

    References

    Hematuria in children. National Kidney Foundation website. Available at: http://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/hematuria.cfm . Accessed January 10, 2013.

    Dambro MR. Griffith’s 5-minute Clinical Consult . 13th ed. Lippincott Williams and Wilkins; 2005.

    Hematuria in adults. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebsochost.com/dynamed . Updated October 9, 2012. Accessed January 10, 2013.

    Hematuria in children. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebsochost.com/dynamed . Updated November 20, 2010. Accessed January 10, 2013.

    Microscopic hematuria. Am Fam Physician. American Family Physician website. Available at: http://www.aafp.org/afp/990915ap/990915b.html . Accessed January 10. 2013.

    Urination problems. American Academy of Family Physicians. Family Doctor.org website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/health-tools/search-by-symptom/urination-problems.html . Accessed January 10, 2013.

    Revision Information

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