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Doctor insights on: What Does Positive Leukocytes In Urine Mean

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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. Aaron Milstone
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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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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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Why would someone need a leukocyte esterase urine dipstick test?

Urinary infection: Leukocyte esterase is a surrogate marker for the presence of white blood cells in the urine and usually indicates urinary infection. ...Read more

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Dr. Aaron Milstone
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How abnormal is 5-10 for WBC in a urine test? I am curious about a small abnormality on my physical: the results of the urine chem/microscopy say “trace” of leukocyte esterase (reference range: negative) and a “flag” says ab. Following that the WBC is “ab

A : A few white blood cells in the urine of a female patient is very common, especially if the urine sample was not collected in particular manner. If a physician is interested in getting urine from a woman's bladder that has not been contaminated by passing through the vagina, which normally contains bacteria and white blood cells, the sample should be collected by asking the woman to use a antiseptic towelette to wipe the vagina while spreading the inner labia, then to urinate into the toilet for a second, stop urinating, then urinate into the specimen cup. If you didn't collect the urine in this manner, then it's more than likely that the white blood cells are from the vagina, not the bladder as are the bacteria and the leuk esterase. If it is noted that there were squamous epithelial cells in the urine, then it's even more likely, because those cells are found only in the vagina, not the bladder. Back pain is a common symptom, and occasionally it is the sole symptom of a urinary tract infection, but not usually. Most of the time people with utis will have pain on urination or frequency of urination, fevers, or pain on the sides of their back. If you have any of these (fever, urinary pain or frequency, or pain on the sides of your back) or if the middle back pain persists for more than a week, you should see a doctor. But the biggest thing here is, the physician who ordered the urine test should be available and eager to answer your question. ...Read more

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How do i get a high white blood count in my urine but test negative for nitrites and leukocyte esterase?

How do i get a high white blood count in my urine but test negative for nitrites and leukocyte esterase?

UA results: Nitrites indicate bacterial abundance. If negative, then very low grade infection or no infection exists. Leuk esterase indicates leukocyte enzyme release, reflecting battling leukocytes. If neg, then no leuk attack present, or very low grade. So --- leukocytes without infection do appear in urine from interstitial nephritis , usually allergic, or from interstitial cystitis, usually of unknown ...Read more

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I have symptoms feeling like a UTI. My urine analysis showed 25 lev leukocyte. I went to the doctor who said that does not indicate a UTI. Does it?

I have symptoms feeling like a UTI. My urine analysis showed 25 lev leukocyte. I went to the doctor who said that does not indicate a UTI.  Does it?

Culture needed: Leukocytes in the urine indicate inflammation in the urinary tract or genital area. A urine culture is the definitive test to identify a UTI. We often treat a UTI based on the clinical presentation. ...Read more

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