Checking out Blood in the Urine
Blood in the Urine With No Cause?
I am a 25-year-old healthy male. During a recent visit to the urologist, a trace amount of blood was found in my urine, but no signs of infection. I can't see any blood myself when I go to the bathroom. The doctor sent me to get a CT scan, and everything came back normal. I'm really worried about something worse being the cause. Should I be? Or can blood just show up in the urine from time to time?
By Dr. Hunter Wessells, MD
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While microscopic amounts of blood in the urine, detected by urinalysis, can be a sign of a serious underlying condition, in low-risk individuals (younger than age 40, with no smoking history or other risk factors), the likelihood of finding a serious problem is very low. The urologist correctly sent you for imaging of your upper urinary tract. Rest assured that the likelihood of missing some underlying bladder disease is very low in a patient like you. Blood in the urine may also be a sign of medical kidney disease, which is generally evaluated by a nephrologist.
Once any significant underlying disease is ruled out, the recommendation generally is not to worry about things. As you suggested, blood does show up in the urine from time to time. It can be related to infection, trauma (including a form of trauma caused by exercise, in which the bladder collapses against itself and bleeding results), stones, and other unusual causes.
Some patients require more detailed evaluation of the bladder, which is done with cystoscopy. This may be indicated if the person is over 40, has risk factors for bladder cancer (smoking, chemical exposures, radiation), or the blood is actually visible in the urine. In this procedure a small telescope is inserted into the urethra and used to visualize the bladder.
Video: Microscopic Amounts of Blood in Urine Not Necessarily Means Renal or Bladder Cancer
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