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
- 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).