Urinalysis is a common laboratory test that examines urine to diagnose or rule out health concerns. Microscopic urinalysis examines drops of urine in order to gather more detailed information for a diagnosis. Healthcare providers may order this test when they find abnormal results in other forms of urinalysis.

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What is microscopic urinalysis?

A microscopic urinalysis analyzes the sediment of urine. A machine separates the liquid from solid components, or sediment, in a urine sample. A technician places drops of sediment under a microscope. A technician counts the cells, crystals, microorganisms and other substances in the sediment. Abnormalities may indicate disease or other health disorders.

Why is microscopic urinalysis important?

A healthcare provider may use microscopic urinalysis to confirm a diagnosis. This test is especially important to provide information for patients who don’t have obvious symptoms.

A healthcare provider looks for:

  • Abnormalities in white or red blood cells
  • Crystals in urine
  • Bacteria in urine
  • Epithelial cells in urine
  • Presence of protein casts

The results of microscopic urinalysis can detect health concerns, including:

  • Urinary tract infection
  • Urinary tract injury
  • Diabetes
  • Kidney disease
  • Cancer
  • Liver disease
  • Reactions to medication
  • Viral, parasitic or yeast infections

What should I expect with a microscopic urinalysis?

A healthcare provider will need a urine sample to send to the lab for testing. You will collect a sample by urinating into a sterile cup. Your provider will give you more specific instructions on how to get a clean sample.

Be sure to give your healthcare provider a list of all the medicines and supplements you are taking. You can return to usual activities right after leaving your sample.

A healthcare provider may recommend additional tests based on test results.

If experience painful urination or see blood in your urine, contact the nearest CareNow® urgent care clinic for diagnosis.

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