While most causes of haematuria are benign and self-limiting, it is important to distinguish which cases require more urgent assessment and investigation.

Population studies of school-aged children suggest that about 1% of them have two or more dipsticks positive for microscopic haematuria, but this only persists at 6 months in a third of this population.

Haematuria is the presence of red blood cells in the urine.  It can be microscopic or macroscopic.

• Microscopic

– > 5 erythrocytes per high-power field seen on microscopy of centrifuged urine

• Macroscopic (or gross)

– Red or brown (cola-coloured) urine with erythrocytes seen on microscopy

Urine dipsticks are very sensitive and can be positive at <5 RBCs per high power field.

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