Q:

What is leukocyte esterase?

A:

Quick Answer

Leukocyte esterase is a type of urine test that checks for urinary tract infection among other maladies. The test shows white blood cells in the urine to determine whether a tract infection is present.

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Full Answer

Many websites like MedlinePlus prefer a clean-catch urine sample approach for the test. The point of this is to make sure that no samples from the body besides urine make it into the test. Generally the test entails wiping down the area and then urinating into the sampler until it’s half full. The sample is usually tested immediately.

The doctor uses a dipstick that’s color sensitive to get quick test results. If the test is positive, then the results may be looked at more closely under a microscope to see if there are additional signs that point to an infection. This is because a number of factors can lead to a false positive. Some vaginal secretions can cause the test to show positive when there’s no urinary tract infection. High levels of protein or high levels of vitamin C can do this as well. A trichomonas infection may also show a positive result when no tract infection exists. Those who suspect they have a urinary tract infection should go to their doctor immediately to take this test.

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