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Terminology of Urinalysis

Terminology of Urinalysis
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  • 0:00 Urinanalysis
  • 0:38 pH & Specific Gravity
  • 1:09 Identifying Conditions…
  • 3:57 Lesson Summary
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Instructor: Artem Cheprasov
This lesson will cover terms related to urinalysis, including: urinary pH, specific gravity, albuminuria, proteinuria, glycosuria, creatinuria, bacteriuria, and others. Be sure to test your new knowledge with a quick quiz after watching the video.

Urinalysis

Survival stories are filled with people being in such extreme situations that they have to drink their own urine to live another day. Disgusting, but true. And some people tasted urine for medical purposes. Physicians of yesteryear would do this to diagnose problems like diabetes. Disgusting, but true as well.

Nowadays, urinalysis (UA), the diagnostic physical, chemical, and microscopic examination and testing of urine for abnormalities, is much safer and less disgusting than it was before. Let's go over terms related to urinalysis.

pH & Specific Gravity

One of the things urinalysis measures is urinary pH. This is the degree of acidity or alkalinity of urine. The normal value of urine pH ranges from 4.6 to 8.

Urinalysis also tells us the urine specific gravity, the concentration of solutes in the urine. A low specific gravity may mean you've been drinking a lot of water. A high specific gravity could indicate dehydration. Of course, those are only two examples of the many possibilities.

Identifying Conditions through UA

As you can tell, urinalysis can reveal a lot of different problems. As we cover some more of them, you'll notice the common suffix of '-uria,' which means 'urine.' Luckily, almost all of the terms we go over have prefixes that are super obvious in their implication of what's in the urine, so they should be easy to remember for a test.

Albuminuria is the presence of a protein called albumin in the urine while proteinuria is the general term for abnormal amounts of protein in the urine, not necessarily just albumin. The presence of excess protein in the urine may be an indication that the kidneys are damaged.

Calciuria is the presence of calcium in the urine, where 'calci-' (or 'calci-') means 'calcium.' This may indicate that the kidneys cannot properly reabsorb calcium or that there is an endocrine condition where there's too much calcium in the blood, such as hyperparathyroidism.

Creatinuria means there is an increased concentration of creatine in the urine. This may be seen with problems related to the muscles, like muscular dystrophy.

Glycosuria is the presence of glucose in the urine, where 'glyco-' means 'sugar' and refers to glucose, a sugar molecule found in urine in conditions such as diabetes mellitus. This is what doctors back in the day would taste for in order to diagnose diabetes, the sweet taste of sugar in urine!

A serious complication of diabetes is diabetic ketoacidosis, and it can lead to ketonuria, the presence of ketones in the urine. Ketones are molecules that are produced when fat is broken down for energy.

Hematuria refers to blood, 'hemat/o-,' in the urine. A lot of stuff can cause this, from bladder cancer to kidney damage to an infection.

On the note of infections, bacteriuria is quite simply and clearly the presence of bacteria in urine. This may indicate a urinary tract infection.

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