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Red Blood Cells in the Urine
The presence of intact red blood cells in the urine usually signifies a source of blood loss in the lower part of the urinary tract (urethra, bladder, ureters). Blood in the urine may be visible by the naked eye (gross hematuria) or only under the microscope (microscopic hematuria). Gross hematuria may be related to trauma to the bladder or urethra, bladder tumors, or hemorrhage.
Microscopic hematuria (red blood cells seen only under microscope) may indicate an infection in the lower urinary tract or a kidney stone. Sometimes, red blood cells may be seen in the form of red blood cell casts, and this generally points to the kidney as the source, such as an inflammation of the kidney (glomerulonephritis).
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/12/2014
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