A thorough analysis of the urine contents is done via a process known as urinalysis. It is a urine test that is often conducted by doctors to gain insights into the overall health of an individual. A urinalysis is generally recommended by doctors to verify the presence of a urinary tract infection. However, the data provided by the results of a urinalysis can also aid in the determination of the presence of other disorders in the body, besides infections of the urinary tract. This is one of the primary reasons why urinalysis is an essential part of most routine checkups advised by different physicians.
Epithelial cells in urine - How the Analysis is Done
There are two parts to a urinalysis, i.e. macroscopic and microscopic analysis of the urine sample. A macroscopic analysis involves observation of different urine properties such as cloudiness, clarity of urine, the color of urine, the presence of sediments, detection of clots, etc. A dipstick analysis is useful in finding out the presence of blood, nitrites or proteins in the urine. Additionally, one can also come to know about the levels of pH concentration and gravity in the urine. The above tests assist an agent at the lab to identify the different components present in urine and also determine the count of red blood cells, white blood cells, bacteria and other microbes, and epithelial cells in urine.
There are a number of reasons for the presence and detection of epithelial cells in urine. Some of the causes for epithelial cells in urine and its treatment methods are mentioned below.
Epithelial cells in urine. What does it mean?
Epithelial tissues or cells are one of the most important cells found in the human body. The skin is made up of epithelial tissues. Additionally, most of the organs and the openings in the inner body are lined with epithelial cells. The epithelial tissue is formed when different types of epithelial cells bind together.
Since the urinary tract is also an orifice in the body, it is but a foregone conclusion that it will contain epithelial cells. Therefore, any checkup of the urine is bound to show the presence of epithelial cells in urine. The epithelial cells in urine are usually detected via a microscopic analysis of urine. It is however important to remember that the exact count of the epithelial cells in urine can only be gauged after a microscopic analysis of the urine sediment. Such an examination is considered as the end stage of urinalysis.
The process of urinalysis involves placing the sample of urine in a test tube. A spinning machine is then used to subject the urine sample for a few minutes of spinning. After the spinning machine stops, a clear liquid part at the top of the tube, and a sedimentary part at the bottom of the tube, is detected by the lab agent. The sediments are then sieved from the top part by the lab agent. It is then checked for the presence of epithelial cells in urine, and other materials like urine crystals, bacteria, etc.
Epithelial cells in urine: Types
Many varieties of epithelial cells are present across the body. However, the urinary tract is composed of three types of epithelial cells, i.e. squamous, renal tubular, and transitional cells. The squamous epithelial cells are generally located in the vagina, the outer areas of the urethra and on the skin. The renal tubular epithelial cells are found in the nephrons in the kidneys, while the bladder is home to the transitional epithelial cells.
After the analysis of the urine sample is complete, there is classification of the epithelial cells in urine as per the type and quantity.
Epithelial Cells in Urine – Moderate
Epithelial cells in urine are quantified as ‘few’ or ‘many’, or as ‘occasional’ or ‘moderate’. The presence of certain types of epithelial cells in urine, especially the squamous and transitional kinds are thought to be normal range which is generally 0-4 / lpf
High amount of squamous epithelial cells in urine
When the renal tubular epithelial cells in urine are detected via a urinalysis, then it may point to a serious condition of the kidneys. This is especially the case, when they are found in large numbers. Increased amounts of squamous epithelial cells in urine point to contamination of the urine. The detection of increased numbers of transitional epithelial cells in urine can also point to the presence of serious medical condition.
A majority of the cases of epithelial cells in urine result from infection, inflammation or malignancies.
Causes of high Epithelial cells in urine
When epithelial cells are detected in urine, then the doctor is the best person to determine the ailment affecting the patient. The doctor will verify the amount and type of epithelial cells in urine, may conduct further tests and then arrive at a conclusion about the presence of a particular disorder. The doctor may rule out the possibilities of various conditions and then arrive at a conclusion after careful examination of urinalysis report. For example, the doctor can understand that excessive number of transitional epithelial cells in urine may indicate an issue with the bladder.
Once the underlying disorder is identified the doctor may recommend a treatment plan. A bladder infection may require treatment with medications such as antibiotics and lifestyle changes. Surgery may also be required in serious cases of bladder infection.