Hematuria refers to the presence of red blood cells in the urine. Causes for this range from benign conditions such as a urinary tract infection and stones or serious conditions such as kidney and bladder cancers. If gross hematuria occurs, (where the patient can see the blood while urinating) infection must be ruled out. If no infectious causes are found a full hematuria, work-up must be completed. This includes:
Upper tract imaging (usually a CT scan or MRI of the abdomen and pelvis with IV contrast)
Cystoscopy (where a small camera is placed in through the urethra to visually inspect the bladder, prostate, and urethra).
If blood is found under the microscope, but not seen by the patient when he voids, this is called microscopic hematuria. The causes of microscopic hematuria are similar to gross hematuria and therefore a similar workup is needed once the infection is ruled out. Cancer is usually not the cause of blood in the urine, but an expedited assessment by a urologist is needed. If you are diagnosed with this condition, Dr. Movassaghi will make an effort to see you within the same week. He uses the following algorithm endorsed by the American Urological Association (AUA) when evaluating patients.