Blood in Urine (Hematuria)

  • Medical Author: Gary D. Steinberg, MD
  • Medical Author: G. Joel DeCastro, MD
  • Medical Editor: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

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Blood in Urine Causes

Blood in the urine may or may not be accompanied by pain, but it is always abnormal and should be further investigated by a healthcare professional.

  • Painful blood in the urine can be caused by a number of disorders, including infections and stones in the urinary tract.
  • Painless blood in the urine can also be due to many causes, including cancer.

Blood in the urine is also referred to as hematuria. Visible blood in the urine is referred to as gross hematuria, while blood in the urine that is not visible to the naked eye is referred to as microscopic hematuria.

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Blood in urine facts

  • Blood in urine can sometimes be visible only with a microscope.
  • Evaluating blood in urine requires consideration of the entire urinary tract.
  • Tests used for the diagnosis of blood in urine may include a CT scan, cystoscopy, ultrasound, IVP, MRI, urine culture, and urine cytology.
  • Management of blood in the urine depends upon the underlying cause.

What is blood in urine (hematuria)?

Hematuria, or blood in the urine, can be either gross (visible) or microscopic (blood cells only visible through a microscope). Gross hematuria can vary widely in appearance, from light pink to deep red with clots. Although the amount of blood in the urine may be different, the types of conditions that can cause the problem are the same, and require the same kind of workup or evaluation.

People with gross hematuria will visit their doctor with this as a primary complaint. People who have microscopic hematuria, on the other hand, will be unaware of a problem and their condition will most commonly be detected as part of a periodic checkup by a primary-care physician.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/24/2016

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