What is Leukocyte Esterase Urine?

Leukocyte Esterase is a test used to detect a substance that suggests there are white blood cells in the urine. If the test is positive, the urine should be examined under a microscope for white blood cells and other signs that point to an urinary tract infection (UTI).


Leukocytes might be present in urine for a range of reasons.

  • Bladder infections or irritation
  • Kidney stones
  • Kidney infection
  • Urinary system blockage
  • Pregnancy
  • Holding in urine
  • Some cancers such as prostate, bladder, or kidney cancer
  • Blood diseases such as sickle cell anemia
  • Some pain medicines and blood thinners
  • Strenuous or excessive exercise.


Symptoms vary from person to person, but there are a few signs that suggest leukocytes may be present in the urine:

  • Cloudy or foul-smelling urine
  • Urinating more often than normal
  • Pain or a burning sensation when urinating
  • Blood in the urine are also signs.
  • Shivering and fever
  • Upper back and side pain
  • Stomach pain
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Long-term pelvic pain
  • Pain during intercourse


A doctor should handle any treatment options. Treatment for leukocytes in the urine depends on the cause of the infection. In cases such as with a urinary tract infection, antibiotics will clear up the infection relatively quickly. In some cases, such as with urinary tract and kidney infections, lifestyle changes can help. These include:

  • drinking more water
  • cutting down on sugary drinks

Results can have many interpretations. Abnormal findings are a warning that something may be wrong and should be evaluated further.

A healthcare practitioner must correlate the urinalysis results with a person’s symptoms and clinical findings and search for the causes of abnormal findings with other targeted tests, such as a comprehensive metabolic panel (CMP), complete blood count (CBC), renal panel, liver panel, or urine culture (for urinary tract infection).

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