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ABSTRACT: Hematuria, symptomatic and incidental, that involves more than three red blood cells per high-power field on two of three properly collected urinalysis specimens warrants some type of imaging to evaluate the upper tracts. Traditionally, excretory urography or the intravenous pyelogram has been the mainstay of the hematuria work-up, but computed tomography urography has more recently been recognized to have significant advantages. Multidetector computed tomography urography, a cross-sectional technique, is less susceptible to overlying bowel gas and more sensitive for detection of small tumors and calculi. Moreover, intravenous-pyelogram-like images can be obtained by using reconstruction techniques. In specific cases, ultrasound examination and magnetic resonance imaging can also be useful, and are particularly helpful in children and pregnant women. Neither modality has the sensitivity of computed tomography for calculi, but small tumors may be visible on magnetic resonance imaging. This article reviews the appropriateness criteria for the various radiologic imaging tests used in the evaluation of hematuria, as proposed by the American College of Radiology.
ABSTRACT: Microscopic hematuria, a common finding on routine urinalysis of adults, is clinically significant when three to five red blood cells per high-power field are visible. Etiologies of microscopic hematuria range from incidental causes to life-threatening urinary tract neoplasm. The lack of evidence-based imaging guidelines can complicate the family physician's decision about the best way to proceed. Patients with proteinuria, red cell casts, and elevated serum creatinine levels should be referred promptly to a nephrology subspecialist. Microscopic hematuria with signs of urinary tract infection should resolve with appropriate treatment of the underlying infection. Patients with asymptomatic microscopic hematuria or with hematuria persisting after treatment of urinary tract infection also need to be evaluated. Because upper and lower urinary tract pathologies often coexist, patients should be evaluated using cytology plus intravenous urography, computed tomography, or ultrasonography. When urine cytology results are abnormal, cystoscopy should be performed to complete the investigation.
ABSTRACT: The American Urological Association (AUA) convened the Best Practice Policy Panel on Asymptomatic Microscopic Hematuria to formulate policy statements and recommendations for the evaluation of asymptomatic microhematuria in adults. The recommended definition of microscopic hematuria is three or more red blood cells per high-power microscopic field in urinary sediment from two of three properly collected urinalysis specimens. This definition accounts for some degree of hematuria in normal patients, as well as the intermittent nature of hematuria in patients with urologic malignancies. Asymptomatic microscopic hematuria has causes ranging from minor findings that do not require treatment to highly significant, life-threatening lesions. Therefore, the AUA recommends that an appropriate renal or urologic evaluation be performed in all patients with asymptomatic microscopic hematuria who are at risk for urologic disease or primary renal disease. At this time, there is no consensus on when to test for microscopic hematuria in the primary care setting, and screening is not addressed in this report. However, the AUA report suggests that the patient's history and physical examination should help the physician decide whether testing is appropriate.
ABSTRACT: In patients without significant urologic symptoms, microscopic hematuria is occasionally detected on routine urinalysis. At present, routine screening of all adults for microscopic hematuria with dipstick testing is not recommended because of the intermittent occurrence of this finding and the low incidence of significant associated urologic disease. However, once asymptomatic microscopic hematuria is discovered, its cause should be investigated with a thorough medical history (including a review of current medications) and a focused physical examination. Laboratory and imaging studies, such as intravenous pyelography, renal ultrasonography or retrograde pyelography, may be required to determine the degree and location of the associated disease process. Cystourethroscopy is performed to complete the evaluation of the lower urinary tract. Microscopic hematuria associated with anticoagulation therapy is frequently precipitated by significant urologic pathology and therefore requires prompt evaluation.
ABSTRACT: Although routine screening for bladder cancer is not recommended, microscopic hematuria is often incidentally discovered by primary care physicians. The American Urological Association has published an updated guideline for the management of asymptomatic microscopic hematuria, which is defined as the presence of three or more red blood cells per high-power field visible in a properly collected urine specimen without evidence of infection. The most common causes of microscopic hematuria are urinary tract infection, benign prostatic hyperplasia, and urinary calculi. However, up to 5% of patients with asymptomatic microscopic hematuria are found to have a urinary tract malignancy. The risk of urologic malignancy is increased in men, persons older than 35 years, and persons with a history of smoking. Microscopic hematuria in the setting of urinary tract infection should resolve after appropriate antibiotic treatment; persistence of hematuria warrants a diagnostic workup. Dysmorphic red blood cells, cellular casts, proteinuria, elevated creatinine levels, or hypertension in the presence of microscopic hematuria should prompt concurrent nephrologic and urologic referral. The upper urinary tract is best evaluated with multiphasic computed tomography urography, which identifies hydronephrosis, urinary calculi, and renal and ureteral lesions. The lower urinary tract is best evaluated with cystoscopy for urethral stricture disease, benign prostatic hyperplasia, and bladder masses. Voided urine cytology is no longer recommended as part of the routine evaluation of asymptomatic microscopic hematuria, unless there are risk factors for malignancy. (Am Fam Physician. 2013;88(11):747-754.