(Blood in the Urine—Child)
Hematuria means blood in the urine. Normally, urine does not contain any blood. There are 2 kinds of hematuria:
- Microscopic hematuria—Urine contains a very small amount of blood. It cannot be seen with the naked eye.
- Gross hematuria—Urine appears red or tea-colored.
The Urinary Tract
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Hematuria can be caused by many conditions, such as:
- Vigorous exercise
- Injury to the abdomen, pelvis, or internal organs of the urinary tract
- Conditions that affect the urinary tract, such as infection, vesicoureteral reflux, blockage or abnormalities, or tumors
- Cancer of the kidney or bladder
- Kidney disease
- Kidney stones
- Bleeding disorders, such as hemophilia
- Certain congenital diseases, such as polycystic kidneys
- Certain medications
Sometimes the exact cause is not found.
Factors that may increase your child’s chance of hematuria include:
In some cases, there may be other symptoms with hematuria. These other symptoms will depend on the underlying condition that is causing the hematuria. For example, if a urinary tract infection is the cause, your child may have to urinate often. There may also be a burning feeling during urination.
Call your child’s doctor if you see blood in the urine.
The doctor will ask about your child’s symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.
Tests to look for infections and signs of kidney trouble may include:
- Urine tests—tests to confirm the presence of blood and look for protein, bacteria, or cancer cells in the urine
- Blood tests—tests to check how well the kidneys are functioning and to look for conditions that cause hematuria
Your child’s doctor may also need to look at the kidneys and urinary tract. Imaging tests may include:
Other tests that may be done include:
- Cystoscopy—to look at the lining of the bladder
- Kidney biopsy (done in rare cases)—to remove a small sample of kidney tissue for testing
Treatment will depend on the cause. Some causes do not require treatment. Other causes can be treated with medication. For example, a urinary tract infection is treated with antibiotics.
Surgery may be needed if the urinary tract is blocked.
By treating the underlying condition, the doctor may be able to prevent your child from developing hematuria.
National Kidney Foundation http://www.kidney.org/
Accessed March 8, 2012.
Hematuria: Blood in the urine. National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse website. Available at:
Updated February 2007. Accessed March 8, 2012.
Hematuria in children. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:
Updated June 17, 2010. Accessed March 8, 2012.
Urination problems. American Academy of Family Physicians Family Doctor website. Available at:
Accessed March 8, 2012.
Last Updated: 5/5/2014