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Urinalysis Preparation

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Megan Brashear, CVT, VTS (ECC), shows you how to prepare for the three parts of a complete urinalysis: perform a dipstick test, specific gravity, and sediment exam.

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Megan Brashear's picture
Megan Brashear


Enrolled: 07/2011

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Jody Carrick's picture

FYI, there are actually four components to a urinalysis. You forgot to mention Gross Physical Exam which includes making note of the colour, transparency etc.
LOVE your video's! RVT's and CVT's Rock :)

Norma Sanchez-Diaz's picture

Any benefit or detriment to using the supernatant for the stick/refractometer? At my clinic we started spinning it down before doing anything else and we haven't really noticed a difference but then again they've all been different patients.

Megan Brashear's picture

Norma, you should not spin the urine sample before placing it on the refractometer. The specific gravity is a measurement of weight, and when you spin the sample the heavy particles disappear and you will have an inaccurate specific gravity measurement. If you have a large degree of hematuria making the strip almost impossible to see (with too much blood all of the squares will just turn black) you can spin the sample down and use the supernatent (the RBCs will spin down leaving you a clear supernatent unless the RBCs are hemolyzed then you're just stuck!) to run the strip.

Danielle Pollak's picture

I love the videos and they are great refreshers. Just a friendly reminder to always use PPE while dealing with urine.

Deneen Taylor's picture

I was actually hoping to find PPE in this video for staff training.

Lucila Vilela's picture

Hi Megan, thank you for all the great videos and instructions! How do you adjust the microscope to analyze the sediment? (best magnification, condenser and diaphragm)

Megan Brashear's picture

I always look at an unstained sample for my urinalysis sediment exam. I do a quick scan on 10x just to get a rough idea of what I'm looking at (looking for pockets of cells and/or crystals, etc) and then switch to 40x to get an accurate count on cells/HPF. With anything unstained I always have the condenser as far away from the stage as possible and keep the light low enough that I can see detail in the sediment. The light level will be user preference, but cells 'pop' a little better with the condenser at its lowest level. As soon as we get enough high quality photos of urine sediment we'll get a video up for you! Thanks everyone!

Bobbie Buonano's picture

Hey Megan! I've notice a new trend starting. New to me at least. When time to read the sediment. I've seen technicians and Drs ask to prepare the sediment as a blood smear instead to have a better view of WBC's. What is your experience with this preparation. Also how do your keep your Sedi-stain stored? I heard its better to keep it stored in the fridge to minimize bacteria growth.

Robyn Watts's picture

I would mention, if you are planning on using this sample for C/S, then you might want to draw out of the sterile container with a sterile needle and syringe vs. opening and putting a non-sterile pipette into it. Just a thought.