National Practice Recommendations for Hematuria: How to Evaluate in the Absence of Strong Evidence?

National Practice Recommendations for Hematuria: How to Evaluate in the Absence of Strong Evidence?


Ronald Loo, MD; Joel Whittaker, MPH; Violeta Rabrenivich, MHA, CHIE

Winter 2009 - Volume 13 Number 1

https://doi.org/10.7812/TPP/08-083

Abstract

Hematuria is one of the most common conditions confronting clinical urologists and is present in many genitourinary pathology conditions. Although researchers have studied hematuria symptoms in an effort to determine the best diagnostic pathway, the existing lack of scientific evidence has created variations in clinical practice. The literature does not provide enough evidence to significantly alter the need to assess these patients. Consequently, many patients with microscopic or gross hematuria undergo low-yield workups that include invasive testing and imaging with radiation. In 2007, a national group of Kaiser Permanente (KP) urology chiefs agreed that national practice recommendations were needed to address existing variations in the management and workup of hematuria. Using a KP guideline methodology, the group reached a consensus agreement on the following recommendations: 1) referral to urology is recommended for all people with gross hematuria or high-grade hematuria (>50 red blood cells per high-power field [RBCs/HPF]) on a single urinalysis (UA); 2) referral to urology and urologic evaluation is recommended for men or women with asymptomatic microscopic hematuria or symptomatic hematuria that produces >3 RBCs/HPF on two of three properly performed and collected urinalyses; and 3) voided urinary cytology should be eliminated from asymptomatic hematuria screening protocol. The test is not sensitive enough to obviate further workup if findings are negative, and elimination of this screening test is estimated to save millions of dollars across the US. Hematuria on a UA should be reported as 0 to 3 RBC/HPF, 4 to 10 RBC/HPF, 11 to 25 RBC/HPF, 26 to 50 RBC/HPF, >50 RBC/HPF, or gross hematuria. This approach will also reduce radiation exposure.

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