Hematuria is the presence of blood, specifically red blood cells, in the urine. Whether the blood is visible only under a microscope or visible to the naked eye, hematuria is a sign that something is causing bleeding in the genitourinary tract: the kidneys, the tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder (ureters), the prostate gland (in men), the bladder, or the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the body (urethra).
Bleeding may happen once or it may be recurrent. It can indicate different problems in men and women. Causes of this condition range from non-life threatening (e.g., urinary tract infection) to serious (e.g., cancer, kidney disease). Therefore, a physician should be consulted as soon as possible.
Evaluation will begin with a detailed history and a thorough physical examination that may include the following:
- Urine culture and sensitivity
- Urine cytology with Reflex FISH (test for the presence of cancerous cells in the urine)
- Basic Metabolic Panel (BMP)
- Complete Blood Count (CBC)
- CT scan
There are many causes of hematuria. Some of the most common are as follows:
Treatment will vary based on the cause of the Hematuria. In about 20% of patients with hematuria no cause can be determined. These patients will have follow-up appointments to be assured no problems develop. When a cause is determined then the appropriate treatment will be followed and could include:
- Antibiotics for urinary tract infection
- Treatment for kidney stones
- Kidney or bladder tumor treatment
- Other treatments for identified urological conditions