Hematuria is blood in the urine
Finding blood in urine can be frightening. This condition, is diagnosed as gross hematuria when it is visible, or microscopic hematuria when it cannot be visibly seen, but is discovered during a lab test. In either case, this should be analyzed quickly to determine the root cause.
Symptoms of Hematuria
Hematuria may be present without any identifiable pain depending on its source. Likewise, individuals may be experiencing pain if a more serious condition, such as kidney stones or cancer, is the underlying cause. Hematuria can also be associated with other urinary symptoms such as urinary frequency, urgency and dysuria (or painful urination). Blood in the urine may be the only sign of significant underlying disease, especially when no other symptoms are noted.
Causes of Blood in Urine
Common urologic causes of hematuria include urinary tract infections, kidney or bladder stones, benign prostate enlargement (BPH), and prostate infections. More serious causes of hematuria include bladder, prostate, or kidney cancer. Symptoms such as flank pain, urinary frequency, or painful urination may coexist with hematuria, which aides the provider in making the correct diagnosis. In young children, microscopic hematuria is usually self-limiting. However, it is important that children with persistent/recurrent hematuria be evaluated by a pediatric urologist.
Evaluation and treatment of blood in the urine
When hematuria is unexplained or recurrent, it is important to have a comprehensive evaluation performed to rule out a significant underlying disease or condition. A typical evaluation for hematuria includes a CT urogram (also referred to as a CT-IVP), as well as a cystoscopy. A cystoscopy is a procedure in which a small camera is passed through the urethra into the bladder to visually inspect the bladder walls. Both of these tests are generally performed in the urologist’s office. Other radiographic tests such as ultrasound and MRI are used occasionally depending on the medical scenario of the individual patient.
Once a cause for the hematuria is identified, treatment options can be discussed. When no cause for the blood is identified (“negative work-up”), referral to a nephrologist, or kidney specialist, may be recommended. If cancer is diagnosed, your provider will work with an oncologist to treat your condition.
If you find blood in your urine, we recommend that you contact the Urology Austin office nearest you to determine if you should schedule an appointment with one of our providers, or seek emergency care.