Also known as: blood in the urine.

What is hematuria?

Red blood cells in the urine is known as hematuria and is quite common in children. Hematuria can be “gross”- that is obviously bloody, smokey or tea colored or “microscopic” which means the blood can only be seen under a microscope (it only requires investigation if present on three consecutive urine specimens).

What causes hematuria?

There are more than 100 causes of hematuria in children. Common ones include abnormal structures in the urinary tract (like cysts), inherited disease (like polycystic kidneys, Alport syndrome, sickle cell disease), glomerulonephritis, injuries to the kidney, high calcium levels or kidney/bladder stones, urinary tract infections and rarely tumors or cancers. In some children, no cause can be found (occasionally this can be familial).

What are the signs/symptoms of hematuria?

Hematuria can range from urine colored a pinkish hue to red or brown urine. It’s rarely painful, but it can cause pain if blood clots are voided.

What are hematuria care options?

Treatment for hematuria will vary widely based on the underlying cause. Sometimes no treatment is required. In other children medication to treat infections, or to manage the underlying problem and/or surgery (for example to removal bladder or kidney stones) may be required.

Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: September 09, 2019 09:08 AM