Hematuria is the presence of red blood cells in the urine. When blood is visible in the urine, it is called gross hematuria. Microscopic hematuria is visible only under a microscope and is most often discovered as part of a routine medical exam.
Causes of Hematuria
Bleeding can occur at any location along the urinary tract. This includes the kidneys, ureter, bladder, urethra and the prostate in men. While blood in the urine is not always the sign of a serious disease or condition, it may be an indication of any of the following conditions:
Urinary tract infection
Cancer of the bladder, kidney, prostate or urethra
Hematuria may also be caused by an injury to the urinary tract.
Diagnosis of Hematuria
To determine the cause of hematuria, a doctor may order a series of diagnostic tests that may include:
Intravenous pyelogram, (IVP)
A cystoscopy may also be performed to examine the lining of the bladder and the urethra.
Treatment of Hematuria
The treatment for hematuria varies depending on the cause as well as the patient's condition, symptoms and medical history. Often no specific cause of hematuria can be found. However, hematuria may be the result of another more serious condition, so it is important to consult a doctor at the first sign of blood in the urine.