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Doctor insights on: What Does Positive Leukocytes In Urine Mean

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Positive leukocyte esterase in urine. Does that mean UTI?

Positive leukocyte esterase in urine. Does that mean UTI?

Generally: yes it does. BUT... while it certainly means some wbc's in urine, this may or may not be worth treating. Certainly if there are symptoms or a lot of wbc or a change in kidney function. But if it is entirely asymptomatic.. then.. not so sure. ...Read more

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Dr. Arnon Rubin
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Urine (Definition)

Urine is the product of the kidneys, which is produced to eliminate the waste products of metabolism, manage body fluid balance, &maintain acid-base balance. The blood is first filtered by the kidneys, and the composition of the resulting fluid is then altered depending on the body's needs. It is composed of mostly water, and breakdown products from blood cells impart ...Read more


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Hi I had a urine test and had positive leukocyte esterase. No other symptoms. Can it mean anything other than a UTI or could it be lab error?

Hi I had a urine test and had positive leukocyte esterase. No other symptoms. Can it mean anything other than a UTI or could it be lab error?

Bacteria: It means you have bacteria in your urine sample. It could mean a UTI, but it also could just be a contaminant, like cells from your skin. If it was a very small amount, and the rest of your urine test was normal, than probably nothing. ...Read more

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Dr. Arnon Rubin
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What does having a trace of leukocyte esterase urine mean?

What does having a trace of leukocyte esterase urine mean?

Usually normal: Leukocyte esterase released by lysed neutrophils and macrophages is a surrogate marker of the presence of white blood cells (WBCs). Leukocyte esterase suggests that there are white blood cells in the urine. Trace means few WBC produced small amount of leucocyte esterase ...Read more

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Dr. Arnon Rubin
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Does an urinalysis report of: leukocyte esterase 1+, urine WBC 6-10 and squamous epithelial cells 0-5 mean an infection?

Does an urinalysis report of: leukocyte esterase 1+, urine WBC 6-10 and squamous epithelial cells 0-5  mean an infection?

Not necessarily: Voided (vs. catheterized) urine specimens in women are potentially subject to contamination. Urine culture is the definitive method of determining the presence of infection. Another important point is that in older women in the absence of symptoms, this kind of urine abnormality alone or even a positive culture should not be treated with antibiotics (asymptomatic bacteriuria). ...Read more

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Dr. Arnon Rubin
Board Certified, Internal Medicine
18 years in practice
154K people helped
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