Which clinical history findings are characteristic of hematuria?

Updated: May 10, 2020
  • Author: Sanjeev Gulati, MD, MBBS, DNB(Peds), DM, DNB(Neph), FIPN(Australia), FICN, FRCPC(Canada); Chief Editor: Craig B Langman, MD  more...
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The first step in the evaluation of hematuria is a detailed review of the history and a thorough physical examination.

The presence or absence of hypertension or proteinuria helps to decide how extensively to pursue the diagnostic evaluation. The initial evaluation should be directed toward important and potentially life-threatening causes of hematuria in any child who has any of the following in addition to hematuria: hypertension, edema oliguria, significant proteinuria (more than 500 mg per 24 hours), or RBC casts. An attempt should be made to distinguish glomerular causes of hematuria from extraglomerular ones, as this helps in prioritizing the investigations.

  • A history of passage of clots in urine suggests an extraglomerular cause of hematuria.

  • A history of fever, abdominal pain, dysuria, frequency, and recent enuresis in older children may point to a urinary tract infection as the cause of hematuria.

  • A history of recent trauma to the abdomen may be indicative of hydronephrosis.

  • A history of early-morning periorbital puffiness, weight gain, oliguria, the presence of dark-colored urine, and the presence of edema or hypertension suggests a glomerular cause.

  • Hematuria due to glomerular causes is painless.

  • A history of a recent throat or skin infection may suggest postinfectious glomerulonephritis.

  • A history of joint pains, skin rashes, and prolonged fever in adolescents suggests a collagen vascular disorder.

  • The presence of anemia cannot be accounted for by hematuria alone, and, in a patient with hematuria and pallor, other conditions such as systemic lupus erythematosus and bleeding diathesis should be considered. [4]

  • Skin rashes and arthritis can occur in Henoch-Schönlein purpura and systemic lupus erythematosus.

  • Information regarding exercise, menstruation, recent bladder catheterization, intake of certain drugs or toxic substances, or passage of a calculus may also assist in the differential diagnoses.

  • Because certain diseases that present with hematuria are inherited or familial, asking for a family history that is suggestive of Alport syndrome, collagen vascular diseases, urolithiasis, or polycystic kidney disease is important.

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