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Urine Analysis Testing: How Accurate Is It?

March 18, 2024

Urine Analysis Testing: How Accurate Is It?

A urine analysis test, also known as a urinalysis can be useful in many ways. The test detects and helps manage various disorders such as urinary tract infections (UTI), kidney disease, and diabetes. A urine analysis test can also be used for drug screening purposes as well. 

The process of a urine analysis involves analyzing the concentration, appearance, and the content of the urine sample. An abnormal urinalysis could be the result of an unknown disease or illness. If a patient has a UTI, for example, it would cause the urine to appear cloudy instead of clear. Another example would be high levels of protein in the urine, which could be a sign of kidney disease. 

Why Would a Doctor Request a Urine Analysis? 

There are a few reasons why a doctor would request for you to have a urine analysis. 

A Routine Check for your Overall Health

A doctor may need you to leave a urine sample as part of a routine checkup. A urinalysis can detect several different health issues that you may not be aware of. It is a good idea to have your urine tested when you go in for a general doctor visit. Physicians may ask you to have a urinalysis if you are pregnant, before a surgical procedure, or during a visit to the emergency room to check for a variety of disorders. These disorders can include kidney disease, liver disease or diabetes. 

To Diagnose a Medical Condition

A doctor may suggest that you have a urine test if you are experiencing any severe symptoms. These can include back pain, abdominal pain, or frequent pain during urination. They may also order this test if you have noticed blood in your urine recently or have any other urinary problems. The test can help to narrow down what type of illness or disorder that is causing these symptoms to occur. 

To Track a Current Medical Condition 

A routine urinalysis can help doctors keep track of your current medical conditions. . These are usually requested every 3 to 6 months or more often if needed. Conditions that would require frequent testing include kidney disease or a recent UTI. 

How Accurate is a Urine Analysis? 

Experts recently performed a study to determine the accuracy of a dipstick urinalysis test screening. The test involved checking for protein, glucose, nitrates or blood in urine samples. The study involved 300 people around the age of 50. The percentage of accurate test results for glucose, protein and nitrites were 100%, 80.0%. The results indicated that dipstick urinalysis testing is a reliable screening method for UTIs and Diabetes. But it is not as accurate when testing for proteinuria. 

What is a 24 Hour Urine Analysis? 

A 24 hour urine analysis is a lab test that measures what is in your urine throughout a 24 hour period. It can help check for issues with kidney function and other issues. The patient collects their urine for 24 hours in a special container. The container must be kept cool until it is returned back to the lab for testing. 

Reasons why you may need to have a 24 hour urine analysis include: 

  • Diabetic Nephropathy
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Lupus Nephritis 
  • Frequent Urinary Tract Infections 
  • Prolonged Urinary Tract Blockage
  • Alport Syndrome
  • Nephrotic Syndrome 
  • Polycystic Kidney Disease 
  • Interstitial Nephritis or Pyelonephritis 
  • Screening for Preeclampsia in Pregnancy
  • Kidney Stones 

Have Questions About the Process or Accuracy of Urinalysis?

If you have questions about the accuracy of a urinalysis, or would like to learn more about the process, we are here to help. Our staff can address any question or concern you may have about the testing process. Give us a call today for more details or visit our website at any time.

At BASS Primary Care Walk-in Clinic, it's Your Health, Your Schedule.