Pathology Handbook

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Urine Chemistry, Microscopy & Culture

Alternative Names:Urine Culture
MSU
Laboratory:Microbiology
Test Code:UMC
Medicare rebatable:Yes
Registration Instructions:

Urine from external collection centres needs to be transported to lab at 4O C.

Specimen Types:Urine Midstream
Urine Catheter
Container Types:
Sterile Container
Plain 70mL pot
Sterile Container
Adults Volume or Mass:10 mL
Minimum/Paediatric Volume or Mass:3 mL
Collection & Request Instructions:

Male Patients: The foreskin should be gently retracted and the glans cleaned with cotton wool and sterile water. Do not use soap or disinfectants. When urinary stream is well established obtain 10-20 mL in a container.

Female Patients: The labia must be separated and washed with cotton wool and sterile water from front to back. A vaginal tampon is useful if there is vaginal discharge. Better results will be obtained if the patient is carefully instructed and then allowed to collect the specimen herself, rather than trying to collect the urine with the patient in bed.

Indwelling Catheters: Urine must not be obtained from the bag, but by sterile syringe from the catheter tubing which has been temporarily clipped off.

Red cell morphology must be specifically requested.  Mark specimen urgent and send immediately to the laboratory. This test is only available between 0800 and 1700.

Testing will however be performed when specifically requested. 

 

Transport Instructions:

Refrigerate at 4 degrees if delayed. Send promptly to laboratory.

Assay Frequency:Daily
Additional Notes:

Interpretation:

Cell count:
>10 x 106/L white cells suggests infection;
>10 x 106/L red blood cells indicates haematuria;
presence of dysmorphic red cells indicates glomerular origin;
Squamous epithelial cells indicate skin/mucosal contamination of the sample.