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What is Hematuria?

Blood in your urine is a condition known as hematuria. Most of the time, the cause of hematuria is not serious. But, never ignore blood in the urine. Your doctor can evaluate you to find the cause of the bleeding and treat it, if needed.

Types of hematuria

  • Gross hematuria means that the blood can be seen by the naked eye. The urine may look pinkish, brownish, or bright red.

  • Microscopic hematuria means that the urine is clear, but blood cells can be seen when urine is looked at under a microscope or tested in a lab.

Both types of hematuria can have the same causes. Neither one is necessarily more serious than the other. With either type, you may have other symptoms, such as pain, pressure, or burning when you urinate, abdominal pain, or back pain. Or, you may not have any other symptoms. No matter how much blood is found, the cause of the bleeding needs to be identified.

Finding the cause of hematuria

To evaluate your condition, your doctor will first confirm that blood is indeed present. Then other tests are done to pinpoint where the blood is coming from and why. Your doctor will decide which tests will best determine the cause of your hematuria. Some common tests are listed below.

  • History and physical exam

  • Lab tests may include urinalysis, a urine culture, a urine cytology, and various blood tests

  • Cystoscopy

  • Computed tomography (CT) or CT urography

  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or MR urography

  • Ultrasound of the kidney

  • Kidney biopsy

Causes of hematuria include the very benign (exercised induced hematuria) to the very severe (cancer of the urinary system). A variety of treatments are available depending on the cause.

Online Medical Reviewer: Greenstein, Marc, DO
Online Medical Reviewer: Hanrahan, John, MD
Date Last Reviewed: 12/2/2016
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