Kidney Cancer Symptoms Hematuria Blood Urine

Hematuria occurs when a person’s urine contains abnormal levels of red blood cells. Hematuria infects up to 10 percent of the general population and can be a symptom associated with a number of health problems.

Types of Hematuria and Pseudohematuria

There are two types of hematuria:

  • If the blood in the urine is visible to the naked eye, the hematuria is called gross hematuria.
  • If the blood is visible under only a microscope, the hematuria is called microscopic hematuria.

Pseudohematuria, a condition in which a person’s urine has a reddish tint but does not contain an abnormal number of red blood cells, occurs when a person consumes an excess of red-colored foods (such as beets) or foods that contain a lot of red food coloring.

Causes of Hematuria

Hematuria is usually a sign that bleeding is occurring in the genitourinary tract. The bleeding could be coming from any of the following:

  • the bladder
  • the kidneys
  • the prostate gland (in males)
  • the urethra (the tube that carries urine from the bladder and out of the body)
    the ureters (the tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder).

The causes of the hematuria vary and include:

  • Bladder stones: Occasionally, mineral deposits can accumulate in the bladder and form stones. These stones can cause pain and bleeding as they block the bladder.
  • Bladder tumors: Cancerous cells within the bladder can cause hematuria.
  • Excessive exercise: Joggers’ hematuria occurs when the bladder is repeatedly jarred during jogging or long-distance running.
  • Kidney diseases: A number of kidney, or renal, diseased can cause hematuria.
  • Kidney stones: Kidney stones are hardened mineral deposits that form in the kidneys.
  • Kidney tumors: Like cancer of the bladder, kidney cancer can cause hematuria.
  • Pregnancy: Carrying a baby, which often places pressure on the bladder, can result in hematuria during pregnancy.
  • Prostate enlargement: Prostate enlargement can cause hematuria in men.
  • Sickle cell disease: This inherited blood disorder can lead to hematuria.
  • Urinary tract problems: Problems with the urinary tract can cause hematuria. If you have hematuria along with painful or difficult urination, you might have a urinary tract infection.

Diagnosis of Hematuria

If you are experiencing hematuria, your doctor may perform any or all of the following:

  • Cytoscopy: In this procedure, a doctor looks at the bladder with a cytoscope, a tiny tube with a light on the end of it.
  • Dipstick: In this test, a chemically treated strip is placed in a patient’s urine stream. The strip will change color if blood is present in the urine.
  • Intravenous Pyelogram (IVP): Before an IVP can be performed, a doctor injects the patient with special chemicals (known as contrast agents) to highlight the problem area. X-rays are then used to evaluate the patient.

Treatment of Hematuria

Since hematuria can be a sign of a number of problems, the treatment will vary according to the cause. If you discover that you have blood in your urine, consult your physician immediately, especially if you notice gross hematuria. After identifying the cause of your hematuria, your doctor can pinpoint the exact treatment course you need.

Resources

Greene, Alan (2002). Hematuria. Retrieved July 10, 2007 from DrGreene.com Web site: http://www.drgreene.org/body.cfm?xyzpdqabc=0