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Alternative Names Return to topHyaline casts; Granular casts; Renal tubular epithelial casts; Waxy casts; Casts in the urine; Fatty casts; Red blood cell casts; White blood cell casts
Definition Return to top
Urinary casts are tube-shaped particles made up of white blood cells, red blood cells, and kidney cells. They develop in kidney structures called tubules. Casts are held together by a protein released by the kidney. The content of a cast can tell your health care provider whether your urine is healthy or abnormal.
Types of urinary casts include:
How the Test is Performed Return to top
A clean-catch (midstream) urine sample is needed, preferably the first morning urine sample.
Men or boys should first wipe clean the head of the penis. Women or girls need to wash the area between the lips of the vagina with soapy water and rinse well.
As you start to urinate, allow a small amount to fall into the toilet bowl (this clears the urethra of contaminants). Then, in a clean container, catch about 1 to 2 ounces of urine and remove the container from the urine stream. Give the container to the health care provider or assistant.
In infants, thoroughly wash the area around the urethra. Open a urine collection bag (a plastic bag with an adhesive paper on one end), and place it on your infant. For boys, the entire penis can be placed in the bag and the adhesive attached to the skin. For girls, the bag is placed over the labia. Place a diaper over the infant (bag and all).
Check your baby frequently and remove the bag after the infant has urinated into it. For active infants, this procedure may take a couple of attempts -- lively infants can displace the bag. The urine is drained into a container for transport back to the health care provider.
How to Prepare for the Test Return to top
No special preparation is needed.
How the Test Will Feel Return to top
The test involves only normal urination, and there is no discomfort.
Why the Test is Performed Return to top
Your doctor may order this test to see if your kidneys are working properly and to check for certain conditions such as kidney infections, glomerular disease, and interstitial kidney disease.
Normal Results Return to top
There are different types of casts. The presence of a few hyaline casts is normal.
What Abnormal Results Mean Return to top
Abnormal results may include:
This test may also show:
Risks Return to top
There are no risks.Update Date: 10/22/2007 Updated by: Robert Mushnick, M.D., Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Nephrology, SUNY Downstate Health Center, Brooklyn, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.