Hematuria refers to excess red blood cells in the urine. In some cases of hematuria, the urine looks normal and the blood is visible only under a microscope; this is called microscopic hematuria. In other cases, the blood is visible to the naked eye and the urine looks red or cola-colored; this is called gross hematuria. (Note that some foods and food dyes also can cause the urine to look red or brown.) Usually the causes of hematuria are not serious, but all cases should be evaluated so the doctor can determine the cause and treat it appropriately. Symptoms such as pain or fever also can provide clues to the cause of hematuria, as does the timing of the blood's appearance in the urine (at the beginning, end, or throughout urination). Possible causes of hematuria include the following:

  • urinary tract infection or obstruction
  • enlarged prostate
  • kidney stones or bladder stones
  • kidney cancer or bladder cancer
  • injury to the urinary tract
  • overexercising
  • sickle-cell disease
  • certain medications (including painkillers, blood-thinning drugs, and antibiotics)
  • IgA nephropathy

Urinary Tract

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