The use of refined microscopic urinalysis for the presence of dysmorphic red blood cells (RBCs) has been evaluated in children and adults with a known source of hematuria. We examined the clinical usefulness of this study in a pediatric population with an unknown source of hematuria.Materials and Methods
Children 12 years old or younger referred for evaluation of asymptomatic microscopic hematuria exhibiting 4 or more RBCs per high power field were enrolled in this study. Patients provided a first morning urine sample subjected to refined urinalysis for RBC morphology. Standard evaluation of patients was performed until a final diagnosis of the hematuria source was identified.Results
A total of 44 patients completed the study. Refined urinalysis revealed pure dysmorphic RBCs in 22 patients, pure isomorphic RBCs in 8 and mixed isomorphic/dysmorphic RBCs in 14. The presence of dysmorphic RBCs correctly predicted a glomerulotubular source of hematuria in 29 of 36 patients (sensitivity 83%, specificity 81%), while the presence of isomorphic RBCs predicted a uroepithelial source of hematuria in 2 of 8 patients (sensitivity 25%, specificity 22%). Hematuria and 2+ proteinuria (100 mg./dl.) were more sensitive (100%) and specific (83%) than the presence of dysmorphic RBCs in predicting glomerulotubular hematuria.Conclusions
We believe that this is a costly test offering little additional information to the evaluation of microscopic hematuria in children. A thoughtful history and physical examination with microscopic urinalysis and dipstick for proteinuria provide an equal amount of diagnostic information. We do not recommend its routine use in the evaluation of microscopic hematuria in children.