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Urine Test

What Affects the Test

Reasons you may not be able to have the test or why the results may not be helpful include:

  • If you are having your menstrual period.
  • Taking medicines, such as diuretics, erythromycin, trimethoprim (Trimpex), or high doses of vitamin C (ascorbic acid) taken with an antibiotic, such as tetracycline.
  • Having an X-ray test with contrast material in the past 3 days.
  • Not getting the urine sample to the lab in 1 hour.

What To Think About

  • Some urine tests can be done using a home test kit.
  • Other substances that may be checked during a urine test include:
    • Bilirubin. This is a substance formed by the breakdown of red blood cells. It is passed from the body in stool. Bilirubin is not found in urine. If it is present, it often means that the liver is damaged or that the flow of bile from the gallbladder is blocked. To learn more, see the topic Bilirubin.
    • Urobilinogen. This is a substance formed by the breakdown of bilirubin. It is also passed from the body in stool. Only small amounts of urobilinogen are found in urine. Urobilinogen in urine can be a sign of liver disease (cirrhosis, hepatitis) or that the flow of bile from the gallbladder is blocked.
    • Bence Jones protein. This is an abnormal protein found in the urine of about 50% of people with a rare type of cancer called multiple myeloma. A urine test is often done when multiple myeloma is suspected. The protein test done during a regular urine test does not check for Bence Jones protein.
  • To lower the chance of contaminating the urine sample with bacteria, a health professional may collect a urine sample by using a urinary catheter. A catheter may be used to collect urine from a person in the hospital who is very ill or who can't give a clean-catch sample. Using a catheter allows a clean sample to be collected.
  • If an abnormal result is found during a urine test, more tests may be done, such as a urine culture, X-ray of the kidneys (intravenous pyelogram [IVP]), or cystoscopy.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: September 04, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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