Hemoglobinuria test is a urine test that checks for hemoglobin in the urine.
Urine - hemoglobin
How the Test is Performed
How to Prepare for the Test
No special preparation is necessary for this test. If the collection is being taken from an infant, a couple of extra collection bags may be necessary.
How the Test will Feel
The test involves only normal urination. There is no discomfort.
Why the Test is Performed
Hemoglobin is a molecule contained within red blood cells. Hemoglobin helps move oxygen through the body.
Red blood cells have an average life span of 120 days. After this time, they are broken down into parts that can make a new red blood cell. This breakdown takes place in the spleen, bone marrow, and liver. If the red blood cells break down in the blood vessels, their parts move freely in the bloodstream.
If the level of hemoglobin in the blood rises too high, then hemoglobin begins to appear in the urine. This is called hemoglobinuria.
This test may be used to help diagnose causes of hemoglobinuria.
Normally, hemoglobin does not appear in the urine.
What Abnormal Results Mean
Hemoglobinuria may be a result of any of the following:
- Crushing injury
Hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a disorder that occurs when an infection in the digestive system produces toxic substances
- Kidney infection
- Kidney inflammation or injury including
glomerulonephritis Kidney tumor Malaria Paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria, disease in which red blood cells break down earlier than normal Paroxysmal cold hemoglobinuria, disease in which the body's immune system produces antibodies that destroy red blood cells Sickle cell anemia Thalassemia, disease in which the body makes an abnormal form or inadequate amount of hemoglobin
- Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP)
- Transfusion reaction
Gharavi AG, Landry DW. Approach to the patient with renal disease. In: Goldman L, Cooney KA, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 27th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2023:chap 100.
Riley RS, McPherson RA. Basic examination of urine. In: McPherson RA, Pincus MR, eds. Henry's Clinical Diagnosis and Management by Laboratory Methods. 24th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2022:chap 29.
Review Date: 20/08/2023
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