A critical piece of information for a good urologic evaluation is the urinalysis.
A specimen of urine is evaluated in two ways. A chemical evaluation is performed with a dipstick that can detect presence of blood, white blood cells, bacteria, liver chemicals and glucose. This chemical strip can also determine urinary acidity and alkalinity and the concentration of the urine. The second part of the urinalysis is a microscopic evaluation of a very small sample of urine. The urine is placed in a centrifuge to separate the cellular component of the urine to the bottom of the tube. This cellular sediment is what is evaluated under the microscope. White blood cells (pus cells), red blood cells, epithelial cells (skin cells), bacteria, crystals and mucous can be identified in this portion of the urinalysis. Presence of bacteria or white blood cells can signal the need for a urine culture. Small amounts of red blood cells in the urine can be normal but in increased number can become concerning enough to require further evaluation.