What is Hematuria?
Hematuria, or blood in the urine, is not a condition but rather a symptom of as many 100 conditions, some of them serious, some of them not. Urinary tract infections can cause blood in the urine, so can kidney stones. Bladder and kidney cysts and tumors can cause hematuria as well. Blood in the urine can be visible to the naked eye (gross hematuria), or it can be microscopic, marked by presence of red blood cells that are only visible under a micropscope. When no cause can be found, it is called “idiopathic” hematuria.
- Red-stained urine
- Microscopic hematuria will not change the appearance of the urine
Hematuria is diagnosed by urinalysis, an examination of the urine under a microscope to determine any changes. If white blood cells are present in the urine in addition to the red blood cells, then urinary tract infection may be the cause of the bleeding. If the urine contains too much protein, then more serious kidney disease is suspected. To determine the cause of the hematuria, further testing is needed such as blood tests, an ultrasound, X-rays or CT scans of the kidneys and the urinary tract. An imaging device called cytoscope can be used to examine the bladder for tumors or stones.
When to Call for Help
When you see blood in your child’s urine.
Because hematuria is a symptom not a disease in and of itself, treatment will depend on the cause.
At Hopkins Children’s, hematuria is treated by the division of Nephrology.