What is Hematuria?
Hematuria is blood in the urine.
Microscopic hematuria refers to blood seen only when the urine is examined under a microscope (yellow urine).
Gross hematuria means blood can be seen with the naked eye (red urine).
Gross hematuria has more blood in the urine than microscopic hematuria, but the types of conditions that can cause hematuria are the same.
Blood in the urine comes from within the urinary tract, which includes the kidneys, ureters, bladder, prostate and urethra.
Urine is then transported through two narrow tubes, called ureters, to the bladder, which holds urine until it leaves the body. Urine exits the bladder through a channel called the urethra. Urine passes through the prostate and then through the penis to the outside.
Causes of Hematuria
There are a great number of causes of hematuria.
More serious conditions requiring diagnosis sooner than later include
- blockages or obstructions to flow
Many medications can cause blood in the urine, particularly medications that decrease the blood’s clotting ability.
Diagnosis & Tests
The evaluation consists of taking a history and doing a physical exam and an analysis of the urine under a microscope.
• Intravenous Pyelogram (or IVP) is a special X-ray of the urinary tract. A series of X-rays are taken before and after a colorless dye is injected into the veins. The dye, which contains iodine, fills the urinary system.
• Cystoscopy is a procedure that lets the doctor look inside the bladder and the urethra, using a thin, flexible instrument. This can be done, in most instances, without discomfort by the use of a local anesthetic jelly (not a shot).
• Ultrasound or CT scan of the urinary tract. Ultrasound uses sound waves to produce a picture of internal organs. A CT scan uses X-rays and computers.
Hematuria is a symptom not a condition of the urinary tract. Once the workup is completed, the doctor may be able to give you an idea of the cause and, if needed, recommend treatment.
The urologist will want to check your urine every year for a while to make certain that no adverse changes are occurring. Regular blood tests to check kidney function and blood pressure checks also may be done. Men over age 50 should have a yearly PSA (or Prostate Specific Antigen) test to screen for prostate cancer.
If you are experiencing blood in your urine call us to schedule an appointment for a complete evaluation to determine the best option for you.