Hematuria is the presence of blood in urine and can be either gross(visible to naked eye) or microscopic(seen only on urine microscopy). Blood in urine is alarming to the patient and warrants a visit to the urologist.
The important causes of hematuria are:
- Infection: Urinary tract infection can occur in both the genders and at all ages. However it is more common in females and patients experience burning while passing urine, frequent, hesitancy, lower abdominal discomfort and sometimes fever
- Stones: In addition to pain, Stones in the kidney, ureter, bladder or urethra may also lead to blood in urine.
- Cancer: Hematuria is the main symptom of urinary bladder cancer and is more common in smokers and elderly. Cancers of the kidney, prostate and urethra may also present with blood in urine but not as commonly as cancers of the bladder.
- Other causes: Polycystic kidney disease ( condition with multiple cysts in the kidney), Stricture urethra( narrowing in urinary passage), Exercise induced hematuria, trauma etc
Diagnosis: A basic Urine microscopy picks up blood in urine and also indicates the severity. Urine for culture is required in suspected infection and urine cytology for cancers. Ultrasound or CT scan is helpful for confirming the source and cause of bleeding.
Treatment: Urinary tract infection is treated with appropriate antibiotics and usually hospitalization is not required. Small urological stones are given a trial of medicines for expulsion while bigger stones may require endoscopic removal. Plenty of oral fluids is always recommended for infection as well as stones. Cancers require specific further evaluation and treatment.