Urinalysis, Microscopic

There are no preparation instructions.

The following is a list of what is included in the item above. Click the test(s) below to view what biomarkers are measured along with an explanation of what the biomarker is measuring.

Also known as: UA, Microscopic, Urinalysis Microscopic, Urine Analysis, Microscopic

Amorphous Sediment


Bacteria are living things that have only one cell. Most bacteria won't hurt you - less than 1 percent of the different types make people sick. Many are helpful. Some bacteria help to digest food, destroy disease-causing cells, and give the body needed vitamins. But infectious bacteria can make you ill. They reproduce quickly in your body. Many give off chemicals called toxins, which can damage tissue and make you sick. Examples of bacteria that cause infections include Streptococcus, Staphylococcus, and E. coli.

Calcium Oxalate Crystals

Calcium oxalate is a chemical compound that forms envelope-shaped crystals. A major constituent of human kidney stones.


Urinary casts are cylindrical structures produced by the kidney and present in the urine in certain disease states. They form in the distal convoluted tubule and collecting ducts of nephrons, then dislodge and pass into the urine, where they can be detected by microscopy.


Abnormal crystals may appear in urine as a result of pathology or due to normal catabolism

Granular Cast

The second-most common type of cast, granular casts can result either from the breakdown of cellular casts or the inclusion of aggregates of plasma proteins (e.g., albumin) or immunoglobulin light chains. Depending on the size of inclusions, they can be classified as fine or coarse, though the distinction has no diagnostic significance. Their appearance is generally more cigar-shaped and of a higher refractive index than hyaline casts. While most often indicative of chronic renal disease, these casts, as with hyaline casts, can also be seen for a short time following strenuous exercise

Hyaline Cast

Urinary casts are tiny tube-shaped particles. Urinary casts may be made up of white blood cells, red blood cells, kidney cells, or substances such as protein or fat. The most common type of cast, hyaline casts are solidified Tamm-Horsfall mucoprotein secreted from the tubular epithelial cells of individual nephrons. Low urine flow, concentrated urine, or an acidic environment can contribute to the formation of hyaline casts, and, as such, they may be seen in normal individuals in dehydration or vigorous exercise. Hyaline casts are cylindrical and clear, with a low refractive index,


RBCs contain hemoglobin, which carries oxygen. How much oxygen your body tissues get depends on how many RBCs you have and how well they work.

Renal Epithelial Cells

Squamous Epithelial Cells

Transitional Epithelial

Triple Phosphate Crystals

Struvite stones (triple phosphate/magnesium ammonium phosphate) - about 10–15% of urinary calculi are composed of struvite (ammonium magnesium phosphate, NH4MgPO4·6H2O).[44] Struvite stones (also known as "infection stones", urease or triple-phosphate stones), form most often in the presence of infection by urea-splitting bacteria

Uric Acid Crystals

Abnormal crystals may appear in urine as a result of pathology or due to normal catabolism


WBCs help fight infections. They are also called leukocytes. There are five major types of white blood cells: basophils, eosinophils, lymphocytes (T cells and B cells), monocytes and neutrophils


Candida is the scientific name for yeast. It is a fungus that lives almost everywhere, including in your body. Usually, your immune system keeps yeast under control. If you are sick or taking antibiotics, it can multiply and cause an infection.
*Important Information on Lab Test Processing Times: Ulta Lab Tests is committed to informing you about the processing times for your lab tests processed through Quest Diagnostics. Please note that the estimated processing time for each test, indicated in business days, is based on data from the past 30 days across the 13 Quest Diagnostics laboratories for each test. These estimates are intended to serve as a guide and are not guarantees. Factors such as laboratory workload, weather conditions, holidays, and the need for additional testing or maintenance can influence actual processing times. We aim to offer estimates to help you plan accordingly. Please understand that these times may vary, and processing times are not guaranteed. Thank you for choosing Ulta Lab Tests for your laboratory needs.

The Urinalysis, Microscopic test contains 1 test with 15 biomarkers.

Brief Description: A urinalysis microscopic test is a laboratory examination of a urine sample under a microscope to assess the presence of various components, such as cells, crystals, casts, and other microscopic elements. This test is an essential part of a comprehensive urinalysis and provides valuable information about the health of the urinary system and the body as a whole.

Collection Method: Urine Collection

Specimen Type: Urine

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When and Why the Test May Be Ordered:

A urinalysis microscopic test may be ordered for various reasons, including:

  • Routine Check-ups: As part of regular health check-ups to monitor overall kidney and urinary system function.
  • Diagnosis of Kidney Conditions: To evaluate kidney health, identify kidney disorders, and monitor the progression of kidney diseases.
  • Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs): To diagnose UTIs by detecting bacteria, white blood cells, and other abnormalities in the urine.
  • Monitoring Chronic Conditions: In patients with diabetes, high blood pressure, or other chronic conditions that can affect kidney function.

What the Test Checks For:

The urinalysis microscopic test checks for various microscopic elements in the urine, including:

  • Cells: White blood cells (indicating inflammation or infection), red blood cells (suggestive of kidney disease or UTI), and epithelial cells (shed from the urinary tract lining).
  • Crystals: These can form in concentrated urine and may indicate conditions like kidney stones.
  • Casts: Casts are cylindrical structures formed in the kidney tubules and can indicate kidney damage or disease.
  • Bacteria: Presence of bacteria suggests a urinary tract infection.
  • Other Particles: Various particles, such as mucus, may provide additional diagnostic information.

Other Lab Tests That May Be Ordered Alongside:

When a Urinalysis Microscopic test is ordered, it's typically part of a broader assessment of kidney and urinary tract health. Here are some tests commonly ordered alongside it:

  1. Urinalysis Macroscopic:

    • Purpose: To perform a preliminary assessment of urine using a dipstick that tests for substances like protein, glucose, blood, and pH.
    • Why Is It Ordered: To quickly identify abnormalities that may warrant further microscopic examination.
  2. Complete Blood Count (CBC):

    • Purpose: To evaluate overall blood health, including white and red blood cells, and platelets.
    • Why Is It Ordered: To check for signs of infection or inflammation, which can accompany urinary tract issues or kidney disease.
  3. Kidney Function Test:

    • Purpose: To assess how well the kidneys are filtering waste from the blood.
    • Why Is It Ordered: To evaluate kidney function, as changes in urine can be related to kidney performance.
  4. Electrolyte Panel:

    • Purpose: To measure levels of key electrolytes.
    • Why Is It Ordered: To check for electrolyte imbalances that can occur with kidney dysfunction or urinary tract disorders.
  5. Urine Culture:

    • Purpose: To grow and identify bacteria or fungi from a urine sample.
    • Why Is It Ordered: To diagnose a urinary tract infection (UTI) and identify the specific microorganisms involved, guiding appropriate treatment.
  6. Urine Protein and Albumin Tests:

    • Purpose: To measure the amount of protein or albumin in the urine.
    • Why Is It Ordered: To screen for or monitor kidney disease, as proteinuria is a common sign of kidney damage.
  7. Cystatin C:

    • Purpose: To evaluate kidney function, particularly in certain populations where creatinine measurement may be less accurate.
    • Why Is It Ordered: As an alternative or complement to creatinine in assessing kidney function.

These tests, when ordered alongside an Urinalysis Microscopic test, provide a comprehensive view of kidney and urinary tract health. They are crucial for diagnosing and managing conditions affecting the kidneys, urinary tract, and for guiding treatment. The specific combination of tests will depend on the individual’s symptoms, medical history, and the initial findings of the urinalysis.

Conditions or Diseases Requiring the Test:

A urinalysis microscopic test is crucial for:

  • Kidney Diseases: To assess the severity and progression of kidney conditions like glomerulonephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and chronic kidney disease.
  • Urinary Tract Infections: To diagnose and monitor the treatment of UTIs.
  • Hematuria: To identify the source of blood in the urine, which could be due to kidney stones, infections, or other issues.

How Health Care Providers Use the Results:

  • Diagnosis: Abnormalities in the urine can help diagnose kidney diseases, urinary tract infections, and other conditions.
  • Monitoring: In patients with known kidney diseases, regular urinalysis helps monitor the disease's progression and response to treatment.
  • Treatment Planning: Results guide healthcare providers in determining appropriate treatments, medications, and interventions.
  • Early Detection: Early identification of kidney problems enables timely interventions, preventing further kidney damage.

In summary, the urinalysis microscopic test provides valuable insights into kidney and urinary tract health by examining microscopic components in the urine. It aids in diagnosing kidney diseases, urinary tract infections, and other conditions, and guides healthcare providers in treatment decisions and patient management.

Most Common Questions About the Urinalysis Microscopic test:

Clinical Utility and Interpretation

What does the Urinalysis Microscopic test diagnose?

The Urinalysis Microscopic test examines urine under a microscope to detect and measure various cells, cellular fragments, and other microscopic components. It's primarily used to help diagnose urinary tract infections, kidney diseases, and other conditions that can cause visible and microscopic blood in the urine.

What might the presence of white blood cells in the Urinalysis Microscopic test indicate?

White blood cells (or leukocytes) in the urine, a condition known as pyuria, often suggest a urinary tract infection (UTI). They can also be present due to other conditions like kidney diseases or inflammation.

Clinical Applications and Diagnoses

How can the Urinalysis Microscopic test be useful for someone with recurrent UTIs?

For individuals with recurrent UTIs, the Urinalysis Microscopic test can help determine the presence and extent of the infection, allowing healthcare providers to adjust or change treatment plans accordingly.

Can the Urinalysis Microscopic test detect kidney stones?

Yes, the test may reveal crystals that can be indicative of kidney stones. Different types of crystals can suggest different types of kidney stones.

Comparative Insights

How does the Urinalysis Microscopic test compare to a standard urinalysis?

While a standard urinalysis includes a visual and chemical examination of the urine, the Urinalysis Microscopic test specifically examines the urine under a microscope. It provides detailed information about cells, bacteria, and other microscopic substances in the urine, offering a more in-depth analysis.

Understanding Limitations and Challenges

Are there any substances or medications that can change the results of the Urinalysis Microscopic test?

Certain medications, foods, and pigments can discolor the urine, potentially affecting the results. For instance, consuming beets or blackberries can turn urine pink or reddish, and some medications can cause the urine to turn a variety of colors.

Can the test detect all types of kidney diseases?

While the Urinalysis Microscopic test can give indications of kidney problems by showing abnormalities in the urine, it can't diagnose all types of kidney diseases. Some kidney conditions may not produce any abnormalities in urine or may require other tests for a definitive diagnosis.

Additional Questions and Insights

Why might there be red blood cells in the urine as revealed by the Urinalysis Microscopic test?

The presence of red blood cells in the urine, known as hematuria, can be caused by several conditions, including UTIs, kidney diseases, bladder or kidney stones, and more rarely, tumors of the kidney or bladder.

Is it normal to find bacteria in the Urinalysis Microscopic test results?

While a small amount of bacteria might be found due to contamination from the skin, significant amounts of bacteria in a clean-catch urine sample typically suggest a urinary tract infection.

How often should someone with a history of urinary issues get the Urinalysis Microscopic test?

The frequency depends on the specific medical condition and the physician's recommendations. For chronic conditions or those prone to recurrent issues, regular monitoring might be advised.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.

Customer Reviews