Urinalysis is a test performed to analyze a patient's urine in order to assess kidney health and to detect urinary tract infections.
Reasons for Urinalysis
Apart from the administration of a urinalysis during the course of a routine medical examination, the test may also be performed on patients who are pregnant, being cleared for surgery, or to monitor certain chronic diseases.
Urinalysis can be used as part of the workup for many diseases, including:
- Bladder infection
- Kidney stones
- Kidney disease
- Liver disease
- Kidney stones
The Urinalysis Procedure
It is important that patients follow instructions carefully when providing a urine specimen. In most cases, the patient can eat and drink normally prior to providing a urine sample, but, for some specific tests, fasting may be required.
In order to provide a midstream urine sample for urinalysis, first the urethral opening should be cleansed. Then, the patient should urinate a small amount into the toilet before providing a one to two ounce sample in the container provided. The patient can then finish urinating into the toilet.
The urine is checked for color, odor, and clarity, any of which may provide clues to possible infection or other medical conditions. The next step in a urinalysis is testing the urine for the presence or levels of:
- Red or white blood cells
- Specific gravity, or urine concentration
It is important that the doctor be informed of any medications, vitamins or supplements the patient is taking since these may affect test results.