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What do squamous epithelial cells in urinalysis indicate?

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Quick Answer

According to the John Hopkins Lupus Center, the presence of squamous epithelial cells in a urine sample often indicates that the sample was contaminated. However, epithelial cells can also indicate urogenital problems, including infections, inflammation and malignancies, as Lab Tests Online explains. Typically, doctors report the extent of squamous epithelial cells in a urine specimen as few, moderate or many, based on microscopic examination.

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What do squamous epithelial cells in urinalysis indicate?
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Besides squamous epithelial cells, many other types of epithelial cells may be present in urine. Lab Tests Online points out that determining the type of epithelial cells present in a urine sample can help the doctor determine whether the cells are originating from the bladder, urethra, kidneys or elsewhere.

Squamous epithelial cells occur in many different parts of the body, and serve to cover a given structure or cavity. Though they are often thought of as skin cells, they can actually be found covering many layers of the human body, both inside and out. Squamous epithelial cells are flat as opposed to cube-shaped, and may or may not have a nucleus. According to About.com, squamous cells are sometimes involved in cancer. For example, squamous cell carcinoma is the most common type of cancer that afflicts the mouth.

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