The Urine Microscopic: Microscopic Analysis of Urine Sediment (Online Course)

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Betty Smith, MT(ASCP); Kathleen Ann Foster, MS, MT(ASCP) SM

This richly illustrated course discusses entities that could be observed in urine sediment, including casts, cellular elements, and crystals. The student will learn to distinguish significant findings from normal findings or artifacts and review the biochemical results that correlate with specific sediment constituents. This course is an excellent review of urine microscopic procedures for clinical laboratory scientists and CLS students.

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Continuing Education Credits

  • P.A.C.E.® Contact Hours: 3 hour(s)
  • Florida Board of Clinical Laboratory Science CE - General (Clinical Chemistry/UA/Toxicology): 3 hour(s)


  • Explain the importance of the microscopic examination.
  • Describe the correct preparation of the urine sediment.
  • Describe an appropriate system for examining urine microscopics using brightfield and phase microscopy.
  • Explain the system for quantitating and reporting urine microscopics according to the information in this unit.
  • Correlate microscopic findings with macroscopic findings to determine if results can be reported or should be rechecked or referred.
  • Describe or perform biochemical tests for the following:
    • Red blood cells
    • Yeast
    • White blood cells
    • Cuboidal epithelial cells
    • Amorphous crystals
    • Bacteria
    • Fat
    • Talc

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Course Outline

  • Introduction to the Urine Microscopic
      • Microscopic Examination
      • The Urine Microscopic Exam
      • The formed elements which may be present in urine sediment include: (Choose all that apply.)
  • Specimen Collection and Preparation
      • Urine Specimen Collection
      • Specimen Collection and Storage
      • Steps in Preparing a Concentrated Urine Sediment
      • Microscopic Examination of Urine Sediment
      • Phase-Contrast Microscopy
      • Which of the following specimen collection methods should NOT be used If urine cultures are also required?
      • The volume of urine that is centrifuged and the amount of sediment that is used for microscopic examination should be the same for all persons perform...
  • Casts
      • Formation and Significance of Casts
      • Factors Promoting Cast Formation
      • Hyaline Casts
      • Hyaline Casts Under High Power
      • Hyaline Casts
      • Cellular Casts
      • White Cell Casts
      • Red Cell Casts
      • Red Cell Cast Under High Power
      • Renal Tubular Epithelial Cell Casts
      • Granular Casts
      • Waxy Casts
      • Fatty Cast
      • Broad Cast
      • Cylindroids
      • Squamous Epithelial Cell
      • Recognition and Identification
      • Which of the following are characteristics of casts? (Choose all that apply.)
      • All of the following factors favor cast formation EXCEPT:
      • Match the following:
  • Cellular Elements
      • Cell Types Observed in Urine Sediment
      • Squamous Epithelial Cells
      • Squamous Cells Under Phase Contrast
      • Renal Tubular Epithelial Cell
      • Renal Epithelial Cells of Collecting Duct Origin
      • Cuboidal Cells
      • Transitional Epithelial Cells
      • Epithelial Cell Groups
      • Urine Sediment
      • White Blood Cells Under Phase Contrast and High Power Magnification
      • Large Clumps of White Cells
      • Red Cells Under Brightfield Microscopy and High Power Magnification
      • Red and White Cells
      • Crenated Red Cells
      • Swollen RBCs
      • Ghost Cells
      • Ghost Cells under Phase Contrast
      • Yeast
      • Bacteria
      • Bacteria Under Phase Contrast
      • Characteristics of Cellular Elements
      • The different types of epithelial cells include: (Choose all that apply.)
      • Which of the following are characteristic of normal RBCs under high power (400X magnification) brightfield microscopy? (Choose all that apply.)
      • In concentrated urine, red blood cells (RBCs) may appear:
      • All of the following are characteristic of WBCs under high power (400X magnification) brightfield microscopy EXCEPT that they:
  • Common Crystals
      • Crystals
      • Identification of Crystals
      • Normal Crystals
      • Crystals in Normal Acid Urine
      • Uric Acid Crystal Morphology
      • Calcium Oxalate Crystals
      • Amorphous Urates
      • Crystals in Normal Alkaline Urine
      • Calcium Carbonate Crystals
      • Ammonium Biurate Crystals
      • Review of Common Crystals
      • Which of the following may be found in normal ACID urine?(Choose all that apply.)
      • Which of the following may be found in normal ALKALINE urine? (Choose all that apply.)
      • Match each of the crystals shown below that may be seen in normal urine with its identification from the drop-down box.
  • Abnormal Crystals
      • Abnormal Crystals
      • Crystals of Clinical Significance
      • Leucine Crystals
      • Tyrosine Crystals
      • Cystine Crystals
      • Cholesterol Crystals
      • Bilirubin Crystals
      • Summary of Abnormal Crystals
      • Which of the following abnormal crystals may indicate liver disease?
      • Match the following:
      • True or false? This slide show tyrosine crystals.
      • True or false? This slide shows leucine crystals.
      • True or false? This slide shows cholesterol crystals.
      • True or false? This slide shows leucine crystals.
      • True or false? This slide shows cholesterol crystals
  • Miscellaneous Structures
      • Introduction
      • Parasites
      • Trichomonas under Phase-Contrast
      • Trichomonas versus White Cells
      • Enterobius Vermicularis (Pinworm) Ova
      • High Power of Enterobius Vermicularis Ova
      • Phase-Contrast of Enterobius vermicularis
      • Schistosoma Haematobium Ova
      • Sperm
      • Sperm Under Phase Contrast
      • Oval Fat Bodies
      • Oil or Fat Droplets
      • Mucous Threads
      • Mucous Threads Under Phase Contrast
      • Contaminants and Artifacts
      • Air Bubbles
      • Coverslip Defects
      • Coverslip Scratches
      • Starch Granules
      • Match the following:
      • True or false? This slide shows Enterobius vermicularis (pinworm).
      • True or false? This slide shows oval fat bodies.
      • True or false? This slide shows fat droplets.
      • True or false? This slide shows mucous.
      • True or false? This slide shows sperm.
      • True or false? This slide shows Schistosoma haematobium ovum.
      • True or false? This slide only shows fiber.
      • True or false? This slide shows coverslip scratches.
  • Identifying Elements with Biochemical Tests
      • Introduction
      • Red Blood Cells Versus Yeast
      • Lysis of Red Blood Cells with Acetic Acid
      • White Blood Cells Versus Cuboidal Epithelium
      • White Blood Cells Versus Cuboidal Epithelium
      • Bacteria and Amorphous Material
      • Amorphous Urates
      • Fat Droplets
      • Starch Materials
      • Supravital Stains
      • Sternheimer-Malbin Stain
      • Staining Eosinophils
      • Iodine will confirm the presence of:
      • A urine specimen was delayed in transport to a medical laboratory. Upon examination of the urine sediment, the technologist cannot distinguish between...
      • A technologist is trying to enumerate the number of fat droplets in a urine sediment which also contains numerous red blood cells. Which of the follow...
      • A 10% solution of acetic acid can be used to differentiate what from red blood cells (RBCs)?
  • Quantitating the Urine Microscopic
      • An Introduction to Quantitating the Urine Microscopic
      • Looking for Casts
      • Counting Elements
      • Estimating Elements
      • True or false? You scan for casts by examining the edges of the coverslip under high-power phase contrast.
      • Match each element to the appropriate method of recording. Note: Answers may be used more than once.
      • An element fills, on average, about 1/4 of a high power field. This is estimated as:
  • Correlation of Microscopic and Macroscopic Results
      • Correlation of Results
      • Urinalysis Reports
      • Specimen #1 - Adult Female
      • Specimen #2 - Adult Male
      • Specimen #3 - Adult Female
      • Specimen #4 - Adult Male
      • Specimen #5 - Female Child

Additional Information

Level of instruction: Basic

Intended Audience: Clinical Laboratory Science Students, and medical technologists and technicians seeking review or continuing education opportunities. It is also appropriate medical students, pathology residents, and pathologists.

Course Description: This course covers the basics of urinalysis microscopic examination, including numerous brightfield and phase contrast images of urinary sediment elements. It is assumed that students have a basic knowledge of urinalysis macroscopic and dip stick examination. The course covers specimen collections and processing, casts, cellular elements, normal and abnormal crystals, parasites, artifacts, and basic biochemical tests to help identify certain elements. It describes a method of quantitation of urine specimens, and emphasizes the intelligent correlation of macroscopic and microscopic results, by the reported technologist.

About the Course: This course is part of a series of courses adapted for the web by MediaLab, under license from Education Materials for Health Professionals, Inc. Dayton OH, 45420. Copyright EMHP.

The Urine Microscopic: Microscopic Analysis of Urine Sediment Keywords

These are the most common topics and keywords covered in The Urine Microscopic: Microscopic Analysis of Urine Sediment:

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