Does this test have other names?
Microscopic urine analysis, microscopic examination of urine
What is this test?
This test looks at a sample of your urine under a microscope. It can see cells from your urinary tract, blood cells, crystals, bacteria, parasites, and cells from tumors.
This test is often used to confirm the findings of other tests or add information to a diagnosis.
Why do I need this test?
You may need this test to help your healthcare provider find out what health problem you may have. It can help diagnose:
Urinary tract infection
Reactions to medication
What other tests might I have along with this test?
Your healthcare provider may also order other tests on your urine sample. These may include:
Checking the color and odor
Measuring the level of dissolved solid substances in the urine
Checking the acidity
Testing for protein, sugar, bilirubin, and other substances that may be a sign of different diseases
Your provider may also order blood tests.
What do my test results mean?
Many things may affect your lab test results. These include the method each lab uses to do the test. Even if your test results are different from the normal value, you may not have a problem. To learn what the results mean for you, talk with your healthcare provider.
Here is a sample of what certain results may mean:
A high number of red blood cells may mean that you have kidney disease, urinary tract infection, a drug reaction, or cancer.
A high number of white blood cells may mean that you have an infection or inflammation in your urinary tract.
A high number of cells called eosinophils may mean that you have problems in your urinary tract.
A high number of certain kidney cells may mean that you have kidney damage.
Substances created in the kidney, called casts, can suggest different diseases.
Abnormal crystals formed from amino acids and certain medicines can be a sign of a variety of health problems.
How is this test done?
This test requires a urine sample. Your healthcare provider may ask you to provide a sample at a specific time of day—first thing in the morning, for instance. Or you may collect a sample at random. For this test, you may also need to collect all the urine you make over a certain period, such as 24 hours.
Does this test pose any risks?
This test poses no known risks.
What might affect my test results?
Certain medicines can alter the appearance of urine under the microscope, including:
Contaminating your urine sample with feces can affect your results. In women, vaginal medicines or menstrual blood can also contaminate the sample.
How do I get ready for this test?
You don't need to prepare for this test. But be sure your healthcare provider knows about all medicines, herbs, vitamins, and supplements you are taking. This includes medicines that don't need a prescription and any illicit drugs you may use.