Urinalysis (Urine Test)

  • Medical Author:
    Siamak N. Nabili, MD, MPH

    Dr. Nabili received his undergraduate degree from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), majoring in chemistry and biochemistry. He then completed his graduate degree at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). His graduate training included a specialized fellowship in public health where his research focused on environmental health and health-care delivery and management.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

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What can urinalysis results show?

Urinalysis can disclose evidence of diseases, even some that have not caused significant signs or symptoms. Therefore, a urinalysis is commonly a part of routine health screening.

Urinalysis is commonly used to diagnose a urinary tract or kidney infection, to evaluate causes of kidney failure, to screen for progression of some chronic conditions such as diabetes mellitus and high blood pressure (hypertension).

It also may be used in combination with other tests to diagnose some diseases. Additional tests and clinical assessment are often required to further investigate findings of urinalysis and ultimately diagnose the causes or specific features of underlying problems. For example, urine infection is generally diagnosed based on results of urinalysis. However, urine culture is often ordered as a follow-up test to identify the bacteria that may be causing the infection. Other examples include kidney stones, inflammation or the kidneys (glomerulonephritis), or muscle breakdown (rhabdomyolysis).

Who is involved in the interpretation of urinalysis?

Interpretation of urinalysis is generally based on reviewing all the components of the test and correlating it with the clinical signs and symptoms of the patient and the physical examination. The results are reviewed and interpreted by the doctor who ordered the test.

What types of doctors perform urinalysis?

Many types of doctors may order a urinalysis in their practice. Because of easy availability, relatively nominal cost, simplicity of performing the test, and quick turnaround time, UA is done in many settings by variety of doctors. Most frequently, UA is ordered by internists, family practitioners, emergency-room physicians, obstetricians and gynecologists, nephrologists (kidney specialists), urologists, rheumatologists, and possibly less often by many other specialists.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/30/2016

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