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Pediatric Hematuria

Blood in your child’s urine is known as hematuria. While many parents are often quite alarmed when they notice blood in the urine, the majority of the time in children, hematuria is not a sign of a serious urologic condition. In many cases, the issue may resolve on its own.

Some common conditions of the urinary tract can cause a small amount of blood in your child’s urine including:

  • A urinary tract infection (UTI)
  • Injury to the urinary tract (sports injuries can be common causes)
  • Kidney or urinary tract stones
  • Chemical or metabolic abnormalities of the urine
  • Structural abnormalities of the urinary tract

Diagnosing Hematuria

Other than noticing red urine, hematuria alone does not always have symptoms and does not cause your child pain. Some forms of hematuria do not present with redness of the urine and can be detected only by urinalysis. The condition is usually diagnosed because of visible changes in the urine commonly evaluated by the pediatrician.

Children referred to a pediatric urologist may undergo diagnostic tests including:

  • A urinalysis
  • A renal or bladder ultrasound
  • A single abdominal X-ray
  • Voiding Cystourethrogram (VCUG) – an X-ray of the bladder and urethra

Treating Hematuria

Your doctor will tailor treatment for hematuria based on the cause. In most cases, a common condition such as a urinary tract infection is the cause of hematuria and can be treated by a course of oral antibiotics to clear up the infection. Other common causes include having too much calcium in the urine.

Upon review of diagnostic tests, your doctor will discuss any conditions that may be causing the blood in the urine and discuss a treatment plan if necessary, especially if a less common condition such as a kidney stone or obstruction is the cause of hematuria.

Benign Urethrorrhagia

A particular cause of hematuria is known as benign pediatric urethrorrhagia. This is most commonly seen in boys between the ages of 9-12, and is characterized as the abrupt onset of visible hematuria, either with or without pain, concentrated at the end of the urinary stream as the last few drops come out. Urethrorrhagia is a benign irritation and inflammation of the urethra, which often has no identifiable cause, and typically resolves on its own. A pediatrician will typically refer a child to Chesapeake Urology for Children in this case so that tests can be performed to exclude other diagnoses.