WBC in Urine

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WBC in urine are a marker of infection if present for greater than 5 wbc per high power field.

Urine is a generally thought of as a sterile body fluid, therefore, evidence of white blood cells or bacteria in the urine is considered abnormal and may suggest a urinary tract infection such as, bladder infection (cystitis), infection of kidney (pyelonephritis). White blood cells may be detected in the urine through a microscopic examination (pyuria or leukocytes in the blood). They can be seen under high power field and the number of cells are recorded (quantitative).

White cells from the vagina or the opening of the urethra (in males, too) can contaminate a urine sample. Such contamination aside, the presence of abnormal numbers of white blood cells in the urine is significant.

Pyuria refers to the presence of abnormal numbers of leukocytes that may appear with infection in either the upper or lower urinary tract or with acute glomerulonephritis. Usually, the WBC's are granulocytes. White cells from the vagina, especially in the presence of vaginal and cervical infections, or the external urethral meatus in men and women may contaminate the urine.

If two or more leukocytes per each high power field appear in non-contaminated urine, the specimen is probably abnormal. Leukocytes have lobed nuclei and granular cytoplasm.

Test results
If two or more leukocytes per each high power field appear in non-contaminated urine, the test result is probably abnormal.
Positive WBC test may indicative of: Bladder Infections; Urinary Tract Infection; Kidney Infection. Any disturbance and obstruction to the urinary system like bladder or kidney stone, tumor and so on can result in the occurrence of white blood cells in urine. Foremost WBC result in urinary tract infection. In some cases, if the white blood cells infect or contaminate urine externally, it might result in swelling of the genitals. Any kind of bacterial invasion is also signaled by white blood cells in urine. In a few situations, white blood cells in the urine can signify more serious disorders like bladder tumor or systemic lupus erythematosus, affecting the whole body. As regards prevention and treatment avoiding the occurrence of urinary tract infection as far as possible is the key. If at all such infection occurs, a dose of corresponding antibiotics can free the urinary tract off the infection. That will automatically lead to absence of white blood cells in the urine.

Also you should know
Bladder Infections: Bladder is a significant component of the urinary system. So any anomaly with the bladder, like bladder infection, can cause white blood cells to be collected in the urine. It might cause a burning and painful sensation during urination and the urine appears to be cloudy. Any disturbance or interference with bladder clearance, sexual intercourse and a few other pregnancy related conditions can also cause this infection, leading to white blood cells in the urine.

Urinary Tract Infection: One of the most common infections to affect the urinary system is the urinary tract infection. When bacteria enters the opening of the urethra, during a sexual intercourse or voiding, is a cause of white blood cells in the urine. In fact, one of major symptoms of urinary tract infection is the occurrence of white blood cells in urine. Other symptoms include painful urination and burning sensation.

Kidney Infection: Another major reason for abnormal white blood cells in urine is any kind of infection of the kidneys. Kidney infection or Pyelopnephritis, starts from the urinary tract and then it spreads to the kidneys. As mentioned earlier, kidneys filter the blood and do not allow the white blood cells to enter the urine. Therefore, if the kidneys are not functioning properly and are affected by an infection, that would give way for the white blood cells to pass through into urine.

All information on this page is intended for your general knowledge only and does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.