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Epithelial cells in urine

The process to analyze the contents of urine is knows as . This type of urine test is essential in obtaining important details about the general health of a patient. Most of the tests conducted as a part of urinalysis are done to check for the present of any infection in the urinary tract. But the information revealed due to urinalysis can also give important information about the presence of various kinds of diseases in the body, other that urinary tract infections. This is the reason why a majority of the physicians conduct urinalysis as a part of routine and regular medical checkups.

Urinalysis involves microscopic as well as macroscopic analysis of the urine. A number of urine properties such a clarity of urine, cloudiness, urine color, presence of clots, detection of sediments, etc are observed through macroscopic analysis. The presence of nitrites, blood or proteins in the urine can be revealed by conduction a dipstick analysis. The gravity and pH concentration in urine can also be figured out. Such tests allow a laboratory agent to detect and count the precise quantity of white blood cells, red blood cells, bacteria, epithelial cells or other kinds of microorganisms in the urine.

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The presence of epithelial cells in urine may be due to a number of possible reasons. Mentioned below is a detained discussion of the causes and treatment of epithelial cells in urine.

Epithelial cells in urine, what does it mean ?

Epithelial cells or tissues are one of the most essential cells that are present in the human body. The skin consists of epithelial cells. Also, a majority of the organs and inner body openings are bordered with epithelial tissues. There are many varieties of epithelial cells that combine together to form an epithelial tissue.

The urinary tract being a body cavity, also consists of epithelial cells, and hence routine urinalysis may indicate the presence of epithelial cells in urine. A microscopic analysis of the urine is used to identify the presence of epithelial cell in urine. But it is important to note that the precise amount of epithelial cells in urine is determined after a urine sediment microscopic analysis. This step generally tends to be the last stage of urinalysis

During urinalysis, the sample of urine is put into a test tube. This tube is then subject to spinning for some minutes using a spinning machine. Once the machine stops, the lab agent may see a liquid part at the top of the tube and sediments at the bottom. The sediment part is separated from the liquid and then microscopically examined for epithelial cells as well as other things such as bacteria, urine crystals, casts, etc.

Epithelial cells in urine – types

There are different types of epithelial cells present in epithelial tissues present across the body. But the epithelial cells present in the urinary tract are primary of three types, i.e. renal tubular, transitional and squamous cells. The nephrons in the kidneys are home to renal tubular epithelial cells in urine, while transitional cells are situated in the bladder. The squamous variety of epithelial cells in urine can be found in the vagina, on the skin and the outer regions of the urethra.

Once, the urine sediment sample is analyzed under a microscope, the epithelial cells in urine are categorized as per the quantity and the type. The quantity of epithelial cells in urine is classified as ‘many’ or ‘few’, or as ‘moderate’ or ‘occasional’. The presence of some epithelial cells in urine, particularly of the transitional and squamous variety, is considered to be normal.

The detection of renal tubular cells is not considered as normal, especially if they are present in large numbers. This can indicate the presence of some serious kidney condition. Large quantities of squamous cells in the urine can indicate adulteration of the urine. Identification of large numbers of transitional epithelial cells in urine can also indicate the presence of a serious disorder.

Most instances of epithelial cells in urine are caused due to inflammation,  infection and malignancies.

The identification of the type of medical condition that is present in a patient, due to the presence of epithelial cells in urine, is determined by the health care provider. He/she is in the best position to diagnose the correct condition affecting the individual, after checking the type and amount of epithelial cells in urine. There are several general rules that help to determine the cause, i.e. presence of transitional epithelial cells in urine can indicate some form of bladder disorder.

As per the diagnosis obtained from urinalysis, the doctor may arrive at a treatment plan. Conditions such as bladder infection may require medications, dietary changes, etc. In serious cases of bladder disorder, the doctor may also suggest surgery for treating the condition.

Thus, one cannot ignore any results of urinalysis that indicate the presence of epithelial cells in the urine. In case, urinalysis detects the presence of epithelial cells in urine, whether in small or large quantities, then the affected individual should immediately contact a physician for appropriate diagnosis and treatment.

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