Hematuria is defined as blood in the urine. It can be blood that is visualized, known as gross hematuria, or blood that cannot be seen known as microscopic hematuria. Regardless of which type of hematuria you may have, it is a red flag that there may be an underlying problem. You should call your doctor right away if you see blood in your urine, even after just one episode and even if it disappears.
Blood in the urine must originate from the urinary tract. The urinary tract consists, in part, of your kidneys, which produce urine. This urine is carried down a tube called the ureter that connects the kidneys to the bladder. The bladder is a reservoir that holds urine until you are ready to urinate. Finally, the urine passes through a tube called the urethra that passes it out of the body.
- Kidney and bladder stones
- Tumors and/or cancer in the urinary system
- Urinary tract blockages
- Kidney disease
- Trauma (e.g., a blow to the kidneys).
Evaluation involves surveying the urinary tract with diagnostic studies such as CT or ultrasound. The urologist may also perform a cystoscopy where a small lighted scope is used to visualize the inside of the bladder. The urine is analyzed to rule out infection and cancerous cells
Treatment will then depend upon the specific underlying cause.