Hematuria means blood in the urine. Normally, urine does not contain any blood. There are two kinds of hematuria:

  • Microscopic hematuria—Urine contains a very small amount of blood. It cannot be seen with the naked eye.
  • Gross hematuria—Urine appears red or tea-colored.

The Urinary Tract

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Causes

Hematuria can be caused by many conditions, such as:

  • Vigorous exercise
  • Injury to the abdomen, pelvis, or internal organs of the urinary tract
  • Conditions that affect the urinary tract (eg, infection, vesicoureteral reflux, blockage or abnormalities, tumors)
  • Cancer (eg, kidney or bladder cancer)
  • Kidney disease
  • Kidney stones
  • Bleeding disorders (eg, hemophilia)
  • Certain congenital diseases (eg, polycystic kidneys)
  • Certain medicines

Sometimes the exact cause is not found.

Risk Factors

Risk factors include:

  • Urinary tract infection
  • Recent upper respiratory tract infection
  • Family history of kidney problems
  • Injury or abuse
  • Medicines (eg, certain antibiotics or pain medicines)
  • Radiation of the pelvis (for cancer treatment)
Symptoms

In some cases, there may be other symptoms with hematuria. These other symptoms will depend on the underlying condition that is causing the hematuria. For example, if a urinary tract infection is the cause, your child may have to urinate often. She may also have a burning feeling when she urinates.

Call your child's doctor if you see blood in the urine.

Diagnosis

The doctor will ask about your child’s symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.

Tests to look for infections and signs of kidney trouble may include:

  • Urine tests—tests to confirm the presence of blood and look for protein, bacteria, or cancer cells in the urine
  • Blood tests—tests to check how well the kidneys are functioning and to look for conditions that cause hematuria

Your doctor may also need to look at the kidneys and urinary tract. Detailed pictures can be made with one or more of the following tests:

Other tests that may be done include:

  • Cystoscopy —to look at the lining of the bladder
  • Kidney biopsy (done in rare cases)—to remove a small sample of kidney tissue for testing
Treatment

Treatment will depend on the cause. Some causes do not require treatment. Other causes can be treated with medicine. For example, a urinary tract infection is treated with antibiotics.

Surgery may be needed if the urinary tract is blocked.

Prevention

By treating the underlying condition, the doctor may be able to prevent your child from developing hematuria.