Description of the Test
Table of Contents
- Description of the Test
- Understanding the urinary system.
- Indications: When is the urinalysis test done?
- Getting Urine Sample: What you need to know
- What are the components of urinalysis?
- Reference Range:
- Results Interpretation:
- Followup Testing:
- Where can I get my urinalysis test in Kenya?
Urinalysis (a contraction of urine analysis) is a test that examines the visual, chemical, and microscopic aspects of urine. It can include a variety of tests that detect and measure various compounds that pass through your urine using a single sample of urine.
Urinalysis is one of the most commonly conducted tests in the world. The test is used to detect and manage a very wide range of disorders, such as urinary tract infections, kidney disease, and diabetes. It has the unique quality of being non-invasive, easily collected even by the patient themselves, and amenable to a wide array of analyses. The tests vary greatly in setting eg home vs hospital based, simple vs very complicated, and so on.
Understanding the urinary system.
Urine is a liquid waste byproduct produced by the body’s metabolic processes. Aside from excretion, the urinary system (comprising the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra) is important in fluid and electrolyte balance. The kidney has other important functions like vitamin D metabolism and hormone (erythropoietin) production.
It’s important to note whenever these functions are impaired, the composition of urine changes and this helps us detect these changes and diagnose underlying conditions.
Composed primarily of water, urine also contains hundreds of known dissolved substances.
Indications: When is the urinalysis test done?
Urinalysis is used to detect and manage a wide range of disorders
- Infections of the urinary tract (UTIs) which can affect the kidneys (pyelonephritis) bladder (cystitis) urethra (Urethritis)
- Kidney dysfunction- acute and chronic renal failure
- Electrolyte imbalance
- Heart and lung conditions
- ..And many other conditions
Getting Urine Sample: What you need to know
Once your doctor decides to test your urine, they will send you down to the lab with the test requisition form. the laboratory technologist will give you instructions on how to collect the urine sample:
- You will be given a sterile plastic container with your details – name, age lab number, and date.
- Wash your hands.
- Start to urinate and collect a sample of urine “mid-stream” in the container.
- Screw the lid of the container shut.
- Wash your hands thoroughly.
- Deliver the sample to the lab as soon as possible, ideally within 4 hours of collection.
What are the components of urinalysis?
From the discussion above, it’s obvious hundreds of tests can be carried out on urine. However, for this article, we will focus on the most commonly done tests. Urinalysis involves examining the visual, chemical, and microscopic aspects of your urine using a single sample of urine.
- Visual Inspection – This involves physically looking at the urine with the naked eye and noting anything unusual like color, presence of blood, pus, etc.
- Microscopic examination- A sample is put on a glass slide and examined to look for cellular elements like red and white blood cells. The technologist will also look for microorganisms like bacteria, fungi, and parasites as well. Sometimes unusual structures like crystals may be found in urine.
- Dipstick analysis – This involves dipping the urinalysis test strip into urine for a few seconds. After removal, color changes for various parameters are checked against a chart on the cover of the test strip container. Any derangements are noted and recorded in a semi-quantitative scale ( +, ++, +++, ++++)
The parameter commonly tested via the dipstick are presented in the table below
|10 parameter urinalysis||Urinalysis Interpretation Chart|
It should be noted there are many more strip-based urine tests, but those are beyond the scope of this post.
How long does it take to get urinalysis results
Usually takes at most 30 minutes, up to 1 hour in busier facilities
What is the cost of urinalysis in Kenya?
The cost ranges from KES 100 to as much as KES 600 depending on the type and location of the facility. Some laboratories may also charge microscopy separately, while others may opt for automated analysis, both of which increase the cost. Health insurance (NHIF and Private) schemes typically cover the cost of urinalysis.
Pro Tip: Always remember to ask for a discount. Most standalone laboratories offer up to 10% discount
Note: We maintain a laboratory test price survey for all tests in Kenya. Click here to view the price of any test.
The reference range varies for each parameter. Each dipstick container comes with a chart showing the normal as well as abnormal ranges.
The results of urinalysis are interpreted based on the naked eye’s appearance, microscopic findings, and the presence or absence of various substances in your urine. You will be issued with the report for your doctor to review and advise on the way forward.
Your healthcare provider may recommend additional testing based on the results of your urinalysis. For example, if glucose is found, you may be evaluated for diabetes, and if proteins are found, a further evaluation of the kidneys may be warranted.
In cases of UTIs, the clinician will often initiate treatment based on the urinalysis report.
Where can I get my urinalysis test in Kenya?
This test is widely available as almost all laboratories, hospitals, clinics, and even pharmacies offer urinalysis tests. There are some home kit versions that you can buy from pharmacies or online. However, it’s important to consult a qualified clinician to help in the interpretation of the test in the proper clinical context.
You can get information about the nearest laboratory from our directory here
Urinalysis is an extremely common laboratory test employed to evaluate many conditions including UTIs and kidney disorders. It’s non-invasive, easy, and fast to perform.
Consultation with a healthcare provider is essential for the accurate interpretation of test results and the formulation of an appropriate treatment plan if needed.
Hope this article helps you understand the basics of urinalysis tests. In case of any questions don’t hesitate to contact us or comment below.
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Till next time, happy and healthy living!