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Hematuria (Blood in urine)

Hematuria is defined as blood in the urine. It can be either microscopic (can only be seen through the microscope), or gross (visible in the urine). There may be blood in the urine with almost any kidney or bladder problem. It can be caused by urinary tract infections, urinary stones, injury, cancer in the urinary tract, structural abnormalities, or diseases of the kidney. Hematuria may be an early warning sign for serious medical conditions.

Signs and symptoms

Microscopic hematuria cannot be seen by the naked eye; however, gross hematuria can make the urine look either "tea-colored," pink, or bright red. Hematuria may or may not be painful, depending on its cause. Other symptoms that could be associated with hematuria are abdominal pain, flank pain, burning with urination, or the frequent urge to urinate.

Diagnosis

Blood in the urine requires evaluation to identify the cause. A complete evaluation may include renal imaging (x-rays), cystoscopy (looking in the bladder) and urine cytology (laboratory analysis of the urine specimen).

Treatment

Treatment depends upon the cause of the hematuria. If the blood in the urine is caused by injury to the urinary tract, surgery may be necessary, or if cancer is the cause, treatment may include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, or a combination of these. If a urinary tract infection is causing hematuria, antibiotics are usually prescribed. If the hematuria is caused by urinary stones, please see the section titled "Stones" on the Patient Information page.

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