Friday, October 24, 2014

Table of Contents

Definition

Urinalysis is the physical, chemical, and microscopic examination of urine. It involves a number of tests to detect and measure various compounds that pass through the urine.


Alternative Names

Urine appearance and color; Routine urine test


How the test is performed

A urine sample is needed. Your health care provider will tell you what type of urine sample is needed. For information on how to collect a urine sample, see:

  • 24-hour urine collection
  • Clean catch urine specimen

The sample is sent to a lab, where it examined for the following:

Physical color and appearance:

  • What does the urine look like to the naked eye?
  • Is it clear or cloudy?
  • Is it pale or dark yellow or another color?

The urine specific gravity test reveals how concentrated or dilute the urine is.

Microscopic appearance:

  • The urine sample is examined under a microscope to look at cells, urine crystals, mucus, and other substances in the sample, and to identify any bacteria or other germs that might be present.

Chemical appearance:

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Review Date: 02/01/2011
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, also known as the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission (www.urac.org)