Clinical Urine Tests are various tests of urine for diagnostic purposes. The most common is a urinalysis (UA), one of the most common methods of medical diagnosis. The word is a portmanteau of the words urine and analysis. Other tests are urine culture (a microbiological culture of urine) and urine electrolyte levels.
The target parameters that can be measured or quantified in urinalysis include naked-eye (gross) examination for color and smell plus analysis for many substances and cells, as well as other properties, such as specific gravity.
A part of a urinalysis can be performed by using urine test strips, in which the test results can be read as color changes. Another method is light microscopy of urine samples.
The following are examples of color change causes and not a complete listing.
The odor (scent) of urine can normally vary from odorless (when very light colored and dilute) to a much stronger odor when the person is dehydrated and the urine is concentrated. Brief changes in odor are usually merely interesting and not medically significant. (Example: the abnormal smell many people can detect after eating asparagus.) The urine of diabetics experiencing ketoacidosis (urine contains high levels of ketone bodies) also may also have an abnormal odor.
Urine may be tested to determine whether an individual has engaged in recreational drug use. In this case, the urinalysis would be designed to detect whatever marker indicates drug use.
When doctors order a urinalysis, they will request either a routine urinalysis or a routine and microscopy (R&M) urinalysis, with the difference being a routine urinalysis does not include microscopy or culture.
Urine test stripA urine test strip can quantify:
The modification date for all health, and medical content on this page was last updated, and checked on April 12th, 2018 PST U.S.A.