Urinalysis (Urine Test)

What is urinalysis?

Routine urinalysis (or UA) includes the examination of the physical and chemical characteristics of urine. A routine urinalysis may also include a microscopic examination, if needed. Physical and chemical characteristics include color, appearance, specific gravity (a measure of dissolved substances), pH (acidity), the presence of protein, glucose (sugar), occult ("hidden") blood and other chemicals. The microscopic examination may find casts, crystals, blood and other types of cells.

A routine urinalysis can tell your doctor a great deal. Diabetes, urinary tract infections, and kidney problems are among the many medical conditions that can be detected by routine urinalysis results. Very often, a routine urinalysis is part of a general physical exam.

A routine urinalysis does not detect drugs of abuse. A special drugs-of-abuse screening test is used to detect the presence of those substances.