- Normal Range
- High Range and Cancer
- Risk Factors
- Clean Catch Method
The presence of squamous epithelial cells in your urine sample may indicate contamination by cells from the urethra or vaginal opening. The most common cause of epithelial cells in urine is improper urine sample collection. Your doctor may, therefore, ask you to take another urine test.
Squamous epithelial cells in urine indicate that the cells that line the bladder or urethra have shed into the urine sample, which can result do to the following:
- Normal epithelial shedding: A small amount of squamous epithelial cells is considered normal and can occur due to normal shedding of the cells that line the bladder and/or urethra.
- Urinary tract infection: This can cause inflammation and irritation of the urinary tract, leading to increased shedding of squamous epithelial cells.
- Physical trauma or irritation: Physical activities such as vigorous sex, catheterization, or injury to the urinary tract can cause physical trauma or irritation that results in increased shedding of squamous epithelial cells.
- Bladder or urethral diseases: Certain diseases such as urethritis, bladder cancer, or urethral cancer can cause increased shedding of squamous epithelial cells into the urine.
Squamous epithelial cells in urine mean the presence of flat, scale-like cells that typically line the outermost layer of skin and other surfaces in the body. This type of cells in urine can indicate that there has been damage or irritation to the urethra or other parts of the urinary tract. However, the presence of these cells in the urine does not always indicate a serious problem and further diagnostic tests such as a culture of the urine or a biopsy may be necessary to determine the cause.
What is the normal range of squamous epithelial cells in urine?
The normal range of squamous epithelial cells in urine is typically zero to five squamous epithelial cells per high-power field (HPF). Typical diagnostic ranges fall into either few, moderate, or many but can also be measured in number. A normal range is less than 15 to 20 per HPF; therefore, more than 15 to 20 squamous epithelial cells per HPF indicate contamination in the urine sample.
More than five squamous epithelial cells in a single field of view can be considered an increased number that may indicate an infection or other health condition. If the number of squamous epithelial cells present is outside the normal range, you should consult a doctor to determine the underlying cause.
However, the normal range of squamous epithelial cells in urine may vary between laboratories and can be influenced by various factors, such as age, sex, and overall health. It is always best to consult a healthcare professional for an accurate interpretation of urine test results.
A moderate amount of squamous epithelial cells in the urine is not necessarily a cause for concern. However, if the number of these cells is consistently high or there are other signs of a urinary tract infection, further investigation and treatment may be necessary.
Does the presence of excess squamous epithelial cells in urine indicate cancer?
Squamous epithelial cells in urine may indicate the presence of an underlying health condition, but they do not necessarily indicate cancer. Squamous epithelial cells are flat, scale-like cells that are normally found in the outer layer of the skin and lining of certain organs, such as the mouth and vagina. When these cells are present in urine, it may indicate that they have been shed from an abnormal site, such as the bladder or urethra.
In some cases, the presence of squamous epithelial cells in urine may signify a bladder or urethral infection, irritation, or injury. However, other conditions, such as bladder or urethral cancer, can also cause these cells to be present in the urine.
A cancer diagnosis cannot be made based on the presence of squamous epithelial cells in urine alone. Additional tests, such as a biopsy, a CT scan, or an MRI, may be necessary to determine the underlying cause and make a definitive diagnosis. Consult a healthcare provider if you are concerned about the presence of squamous epithelial cells in your urine.
- CDC Warns of Potentially Fatal Bacterial Illness on U.S. Gulf Coast
- Helping Others as Volunteers Helps Kids 'Flourish': Study
- FDA Approves Pfizer's RSV Shot for Older Adults
- What to Do When Tough-to-Treat Lymphoma Strikes During Pregnancy
- Rate of Pregnant U.S. Women Who Have Diabetes Keeps Rising
- More Health News »
What are the treatment options for excess squamous epithelial cells in urine?
Treatment of excess squamous epithelial cells in urine depends on the underlying cause.
There are several treatment options for excess squamous epithelial cells in the urine, including the following:
- Antibiotics: May be prescribed to treat an infection, which can cause an increase in squamous epithelial cells in the urine.
- Hydration: Increasing fluid intake can help flush out excess squamous epithelial cells in the urine.
- Avoiding irritants: Avoiding harsh soaps, bubble baths, and spermicidal products can reduce the amount of squamous epithelial cells in the urine.
- Medical procedures: In some cases, medical procedures such as a bladder wash or bladder irrigation may be performed to remove excess squamous epithelial cells from the bladder.
- Surgery: In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to remove any underlying conditions that increase the squamous epithelial cells in the urine.
If the blockage occurs due to a tumor, treatment options may include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and immunotherapy. Your doctor will assess your condition and recommend the best treatment option. Seek medical advice for proper diagnosis and treatment of this condition.
Can I have a high epithelial cell count in urine in absence of a kidney condition?
In certain systemic conditions, it is possible to have a high epithelial cell count in urine.
Risk factors for a high epithelial cell count in urine include:
- Liver disease
- Weak immune system
- High blood pressure
- Enlarged prostate
- Family history of kidney disease
- American Indian
Once the doctor establishes the root cause for the presence of epithelial cells in the urine, they will initiate a suitable treatment aimed at the underlying cause.
- They may indicate a urine test after the treatment to determine whether the disease is cured.
- They may advise lifestyle modifications to reduce the intensity of chronic conditions such as frequent urinary tract infections or yeast infections, including:
- changes in your diet,
- increase physical activity or exercise, and
- weight loss.
Subscribe to MedicineNet's General Health Newsletter
What is a clean catch method?
The source of epithelial cells in urine is the urethral lining. The clean catch method is used to make sure the urine sample collection is not contaminated with epithelial cells.
When you have to collect a small amount of your urine in a special sterile container, follow a few steps that help you prevent contamination of the urine sample, such as:
- Wash your hands clean before collecting the sample.
- Remove the lid of the container and place it such that the inner part should be directed up exposed to air.
- You will be given tissue paper, which men should use to clean the area around their penis, and women should use to clean their vagina from front to back.
- Start to urinate into the toilet or urinal.
- Let the first few drops of urine flow, and then place the container in the stream to collect a midstream sample.
- You should be careful that the container rim does not touch your genitals.
- After collection of the requisite amount, place the lid on the container.
- Wash your hands thoroughly and leave the container in its intended place.
By this method, you reduce the risk of contamination of the urine sample with epithelial cells that are present on the outer surface of your genitals.
Medical Test Resources
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Quantitative analysis of epithelial cells in urine from men with and without urethritis: implications for studying epithelial: pathogen interactions in vivo: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2719657/
Understanding urine testing: https://www.nursingtimes.net/archive/understanding-urine-testing-22-03-2005/
Top What Does Squamous Epithelial Cell in Urine Mean Related Articles
Blood in UrineBlood in the urine is termed hematuria. Hematuria, whether it be gross or microscopic, is abnormal and should be further investigated.
Can Bladder Cancer Be Detected With a Urine Test?Bladder cancer is often detected when a person develops signs and symptoms. It is a highly treatable type of cancer when detected early. Although screening tests for bladder cancer are not conducted routinely, the following tests may be used to diagnose and learn more about bladder cancer:
Complete Blood Count (CBC)A complete blood count (CBC) is a calculation of the cellular makeup of blood. A CBC measures the concentration of white blood cells, red blood cells, platelets in the blood, and aids in diagnosing conditions and disease such as malignancy, anemia, or blood clotting problems.
Conditions That Can Cause Blood In Your UrineIt can be a shock to see blood in your pee. A number of conditions can cause it. Find out why it happens and what to do about it.
How Do I Stop Blood in My Urine?Learn why you might have blood in your urine and how to treat blood in your urine.
How Do You Treat Mucus in Urine?Learn what medical treatments can help with mucus in your urine and speed up your recovery.
PhenazopyridinePhenazopyridine is a painkiller (analgesic) available by prescription and over the counter, used to relieve pain and discomfort in the lower urinary tract. Common side effects of phenazopyridine include fever, urine discoloration, rash, itching (pruritus), headache, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps, elevated liver enzymes, and others. There are no adequate and well-controlled studies of phenazopyridine use in pregnant women; use only if the benefits outweigh the risks. Avoid use in nursing mothers.
potassium acid phosphatePotassium acid phosphate is a medication used to acidify the urine. Reducing the pH levels in the urine and making it more acidic helps keep the urinary calcium soluble, restores the acid-base balance and reduces rash and odor caused by ammoniacal urine. Common side effects of potassium acid phosphate include nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, diarrhea, gas (flatulence), high blood potassium levels (hyperkalemia), high levels of phosphorus in blood (hyperphosphatemia), low blood calcium (hypocalcemia), reduced magnesium in blood, chest pain, and others. Consult your doctor if pregnant or breastfeeding.
Urinalysis (Urine Test)Urinalysis (urine test, drug test) is a test performed on a patient's urine sample to diagnose conditions and diseases such as urinary tract infection, kidney infection, kidney stones, and inflammation of the kidneys, or screen for progression of conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure.
Diabetes Urine TestsUrine tests for individuals with diabetes is important to check for diabetes-related kidney disease and severe hypoglycemia. With proper monitoring of blood glucose levels, diabetic-kidney disease can be avoided.
Urine: Things That Can Affect the Smell of Your PeeLots of things can change the way your pee smells. Find out what they are and what you can do about the odor.
Urine: Why Does Your Pee Look Like That?Different colors can mean different things. Here’s what your pee can tell you about your health.
What Does Blood in the Urine Mean?When you see blood in the urine, it might be alarming. But it may not be a serious issue. Find out the essentials of what you need to know if it is something more serious.
What Is Taurine and What Does It Do to the Body?Taurine is a sulfur-containing amino acid that occurs naturally in your body and plays an important role in brain and heart health.
What Is Urine Re and CS Test?Urine Re and CS stand for urine routine examination and urine culture sensitivity test. Learn about what’s involved in a urinalysis and urine culture test.