Diagnostic approach in patients with asymptomatic haematuria: efficient or not?

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Many patients with asymptomatic haematuria are primarily referred to urological examination. To analyse the efficiency of this strategy, we investigated the diagnostic process in 134 patients with asymptomatic haematuria (91 macroscopic and 43 microscopic) who were referred to our urology department. The frequency of diagnostic procedures was urine culture: 91%, cystoscopy: 87%, intravenous urography: 86%, ultrasound: 73%, examination of urinary sediment: 20%. In 70 patients (52%), a urological diagnosis was made. In the remaining 64 patients, the urinary sediment was examined for the presence of dysmorphic erythrocytes and erythrocyte casts in 17 patients (27%). Signs of glomerular haematuria were found in nine of them (53%). The diagnostic strategy in these patients with asymptomatic haematuria was not discordant from several published algorithms but appeared neither efficacious nor efficient. We estimate that when examination of the urinary sediment would have been performed at the start of work-up, 25% of patients could have spared from extensive urological investigation.

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