Tests and diagnosis

By Mayo Clinic Staff

To find a cause for urinary bleeding, the following tests and exams play a key role:

  • Physical exam, which includes a discussion of your medical history.
  • Urine tests. Even if your bleeding was first discovered through urine testing (urinalysis), you're likely to have another test to see if your urine still contains red blood cells. Urinalysis can also check for urinary tract infection or the presence of minerals that cause kidney stones.
  • Imaging tests. Often, an imaging test is required to find the cause of hematuria. Your doctor might recommend a computerized tomography (CT) scan, which uses radiation and a powerful computer to create cross-sectional images of the inside of the body; magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which uses a magnetic field and radio waves instead of X-rays to produce images; or an ultrasound exam. Ultrasound uses a combination of high-frequency sound waves and computer processing to produce images of your kidneys and bladder.
  • Cystoscopy. In this procedure, your doctor threads a narrow tube fitted with a tiny camera into your bladder to closely examine both the bladder and urethra for signs of disease.

Sometimes, the cause of urinary bleeding may not be found. In that case, your doctor may recommend regular follow-up tests, especially if you have risk factors for bladder cancer, such as smoking, exposure to environmental toxins or a history of radiation therapy.

Aug. 29, 2014

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