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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Other than urinalysis, what are other common urine tests available?

Other commonly performed urine tests are drug tests, pregnancy tests, specific chemicals and proteins in the body, which are not a part of routine urinalysis.

Urine drug screen is done routinely to check for drugs or their byproducts in the urine. There are many purposes for these tests including athletic screening, emergency rooms settings, drug detoxification programs, school and employment screening. This test detects the presence of commonly used drugs such as:

Urine pregnancy test is very common and it measures a hormone in the urine associated with pregnancy (beta-HCG or beta- human chorionic gonadotropin). This test can be done in medical settings, but numerous kits are available for home use.

Other urine tests can also be used in evaluation of many medical conditions. Examples include:

  • urine culture (in determining the bacterial cause of urine infection)
  • urine creatinine (in assessing kidney disease)
  • urine total protein and albumin (in assessing kidney disease and protein loss from kidney)
  • urine cytology (in evaluating for possible bladder or other urinary tumors)
  • urine calcium (in evaluating elevated blood calcium levels)
  • 24-hour urine collection for proteins (in diagnosing causes of kidney impairment, diabetic related kidney disease, lupus related kidney disease)
  • 24-hour urine collection for protein electrophoresis (for measuring different components of proteins in urine in evaluating multiple myeloma, kidney inflammation with increased protein loss)
  • 24-hour urine collection of catecholamine metabolites (in evaluating adrenal gland disease, difficult to treat high blood pressure)

REFERENCE:

Fauci, Anthony S., et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 17th ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Professional, 2008.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/30/2016

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