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Urine Tests

The kidneys make urine (YER-in) as they filter wastes from the bloodstream. When working as they should, the kidneys keep things that the body needs in the blood, like protein, and get rid of anything the body doesn’t need, like extra water and salts. But sometimes, other things can be in urine, like protein, glucose, or blood cells. These can be signs of a health problem.

Why Are Urine Tests Done?

Testing a urine sample can help doctors find out what's going on when someone has an infection or other problem in kidneys, bladder, or other parts of the urinary tract.

Doctors often will do urine tests if they think a child has a urinary tract infection (UTI). They also can help doctors check for problems with the kidney and to screen kids for diabetes.

Urine tests can help doctors look for or measure:

  • white blood cells, which can happen with an infection
  • bacteria or other germs
  • glucose (sugar)
  • the pH level (acidic or basic) of pee
  • the concentration of the pee
  • bilirubin (made when red blood cells break down)
  • blood
  • ketones
  • protein 

What Are the Types of Urine Tests?

Common urine tests ordered for kids include:

Reviewed by: Larissa Hirsch, MD
Date Reviewed: Mar 10, 2023

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