Hematuria is the presence of blood in the urine, either visible or microscopic. It is a sign of bleeding from the kidneys, ureters, bladder, prostate or urethra (the genitourinary system).
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Many causes of hematuria are benign and only require observation. However, an evaluation may be recommended to rule out urologic cancer. Just 1% to 3% of patients evaluated for microscopic hematuria are diagnosed with urologic cancer, but the rate among patients with visible, or gross, hematuria is higher.
Hematuria will tint the color of urine from pink to dark brown and can include clots. It may also be intermittent, and not present itself consistently.
After a patient is diagnosed with hematuria, the physician may order additional studies or refer the patient to a urologist or nephrologist for further evaluation. Complete urologic evaluation includes:
If the doctor does not find a serious source for the hematuria, the patient will likely require nothing more than close observation. If a more serious cause is detected, the patient will be referred to a specialist who will prescribe treatment.