What is hematuria?


Seeing blood in urine should never be ignored; because it can be a sign of a serious medical problem.
It is the most common sign of bladder cancer that is usually painless, the urine color might change to orange, bright red, or brown.

What is hematuria?

Hematuria is the presence of blood cells in the urine. We have two types of hematuria:

-Gross hematuria: when the blood present in the urine is visible to the naked eye.

-Microscopic hematuria: when the blood in your urine can only be seen through a microscope.

Hematuria is just a symptom, so you should visit your doctor who will determine the cause by ordering some tests…When the origin of the blood in your urine is defined, the doctor can start the adequate treatment.

Where blood in urine might come from?

Blood in your urine can come from your kidneys, and from several parts of your urinary tract:

– Ureters

– Bladder

– Urethra

What are the causes?

Urinary tract infection (UTI).

– Pyelonephritis or kidney infection.

Kidney stones.

Enlarged prostate – BPH.

– Injury to the urinary tract.

– Kidney disease (when your kidneys aren’t working properly).

– Sickle cell disease:  a hereditary defect of hemoglobin in red blood cells that can cause blood in the urine.

– Cancer: kidney cancer, bladder cancer, or prostate cancer.

– Medications: the anti-cancer drug cyclophosphamide and penicillin, and anticoagulants can cause urinary bleeding.

What are the symptoms?

Some patients suffer from:

– Frequent, painful, or urgent urination.

– Nausea, vomiting, fever, or pain in the abdomen.

But bloody urine often occurs without other signs or symptoms; so when you see blood in your urine you should directly book an appointment with the doctor.

You should note that urine can also change colors due to food choices.

What are the risk factors of hematuria?

– Age: Many men older than 50 have a high risk of hematuria due to an enlarged prostate gland.

– Patients with existing diseases that are known to cause hematuria.

– Patient who has a family history of kidney disease or kidney stones.

– Certain medications: overuse of pain medications, anticoagulants like Aspirin, and the anti-cancer drug cyclophosphamide and penicillin.

– Smoking.

How is hematuria diagnosed?

The doctor’s goal is to find the cause of hematuria by ordering several tests, and a physical exam which includes a discussion of your medical history.

– Urine analysis and urine culture are required.

– Urine cytology: a urine test that can determine the presence of any abnormal cells.

– Imaging tests: an imaging test is required to find the cause of hematuria; your doctor will recommend a CT or MRI scan or an ultrasound exam.

Cystoscopy: A test that uses a device called a cystoscope to examine the bladder and urethra.

How is hematuria treated?

The treatment of hematuria depends on the cause of blood in  urine. The information collected from the medical history, physical exam, urine tests, and imaging tests will be used to determine the best treatment option; for example, when the cause is a UTI, the best treatment is the use of antibiotics.