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Alternative Names Return to topUrine cytology
Definition Return to top
A cytology exam of urine is used to detect cancer and inflammatory diseases of the urinary tract.
How the Test is Performed Return to top
A clean catch (midstream) urine sample is needed. For information on how to obtain the sample, see clean catch urine specimen.
The urine sample is processed in a laboratory and examined under a microscope by a pathologist who looks for abnormal cells.
How to Prepare for the Test Return to top
No special preparation is needed.
How the Test Will Feel Return to top
There is no discomfort associated with a clean catch urine specimen.
Why the Test is Performed Return to top
The test is done to detect cancer and inflammatory diseases of the urinary tract. The test is often done when bladder lesions are noted on an x-ray.
The test may occasionally be ordered for individuals who are at high risk of developing bladder cancer. The test can also detect cytomegalovirus and other viral diseases.
Normal Results Return to top
The urine shows normal cells and is relatively free of debris.
Note: Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Talk to your doctor about the meaning of your specific test results.
What Abnormal Results Mean Return to top
Abnormal cells in the urine may be a sign of inflammation of the urinary tract orcancer of the kidney, ureters, bladder, or urethra.
Considerations Return to top
The diagnosis of cancer or inflammatory disease cannot be made exclusively by this test. The results are confirmed by other diagnostic tests or procedures.Update Date: 10/15/2007 Updated by: Frank A. Greco, M.D., Ph.D., Director, Biophysical Laboratory, The Lahey Clinic, Burlington, MA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.