Q:

How can you tell if you have white blood cells in your urine?

A:

Quick Answer

To tell if you have white blood cells in your urine, visit a medical center, submit a urine sample, and request a complete urinalysis. The presence of leukocyte esterase in the chemical analysis of the urine sample indicates the presence of white blood cells. Microscopic tests also detect the presence of white blood cells, according to the Johns Hopkins Lupus Center.

Continue Reading

Full Answer

A complete urinalysis evaluates multiple aspects of a patient's urine by subjecting urine samples to physical, chemical and microscopic examinations. A physical examination evaluates the color, concentration and clarity of urine but is not a sufficient test for drawing conclusions about urine components, states the Johns Hopkins Lupus Center. Microscopic examinations evaluate urine for red and white blood cells, epithelial cells, bacteria, casts and crystals. Several drops of urine placed under a microscope show the presence of any of these components, explains Mayo Clinic.

Chemical analysis of a urine sample may also detect leukocyte esterase, which is an enzyme found in white blood cells. The detection of this enzyme indicates not only the presence of white blood cells, but also the inflammation of the urinary tract due to a bacterial infection, states the Johns Hopkins Lupus Center. Contamination of a urine sample by vaginal secretions, which are rich in white blood cells, may produce misleading results.

Learn more about Diagnostics & Imaging

Related Questions

Explore