The Urine Microscopic: Microscopic Analysis of Urine Sediment (by LabCE)

3 P.A.C.E. contact hour(s)

(based on 2,819 customer ratings)

Authors: Betty Smith, MT(ASCP); Kathleen Ann Foster, MS, MT(ASCP) SM
Reviewer: Mary Ann McLane, Ph.D, MT(ASCP)

Course provided by LabCE.

This richly illustrated course discusses entities that could be observed in urine sediment, including casts, cellular elements, and crystals. The student will learn to distinguish significant findings from normal findings or artifacts and review the biochemical results that correlate with specific sediment constituents. This course is an excellent review of urine microscopic procedures for clinical laboratory scientists and MLS / MLT students.

See more courses in: Clinical Chemistry / Urinalysis / Toxicology

Included In These Course Packages

Continuing Education Credits

P.A.C.E.® Contact Hours (acceptable for AMT, ASCP, and state recertification): 3 hour(s)
Course number 578-006-21, approved through 2/28/2023
Florida Board of Clinical Laboratory Personnel Credit Hours - General (Clinical Chemistry/UA/Toxicology): 3 hour(s)
Course number 20-814850, approved through 2/28/2023


  • Explain the importance of the microscopic examination.
  • Describe the correct preparation of the urine sediment.
  • Recognize cells, casts, bacteria, yeast, crystals, and other structures that may be present in urine sediment.
  • Recognize artifacts in urine sediment and distinguish from significant findings.
  • Correlate microscopic findings with urine reagent strip findings.

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(based on 2,819 customer ratings)

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Course Outline

  • Introduction to the Urine Microscopic
      • Course Introduction
  • Specimen Collection and Preparation
      • Urine Specimen Collection
      • Specimen Collection and Storage
      • Steps in Preparing a Concentrated Urine Sediment
      • Microscopic Examination of Urine Sediment
  • Casts
      • Formation and Significance of Casts
      • Factors Promoting Cast Formation
      • Hyaline Casts
      • Hyaline Casts: High Power
      • Hyaline Casts
      • Cellular Casts
      • White Cell Casts
      • Red Cell Casts
      • Red Cell Cast: High Power
      • Renal Tubular Epithelial (RTE) Cell Casts
      • Granular Casts
      • Waxy Casts
      • Fatty Casts
      • Broad Casts
      • Table: Clinical Significance of Casts
  • Cellular Elements
      • Cell Types Observed in Urine Sediment
      • Squamous Epithelial Cells
      • Squamous Epithelial Cells: Phase Contrast
      • Transitional Epithelial Cells
      • Renal Tubular Epithelial (RTE) Cell
      • White Blood Cells (WBCs)
      • WBCs: Phase-Contrast Microscopy
      • WBC Clumps
      • Red Blood Cells (RBCs)
      • Crenated Red Cells
      • Ghost Cells
      • Distinguishing Between Red and White Cells
      • Characteristics of Cellular Elements
  • Bacteria, Yeast, and Parasites
      • Yeast
      • Bacteria
      • Bacteria: Phase-Contrast Microscopy
      • Parasites
      • Trichomonas: Phase-Contrast Microscopy
      • Enterobius vermicularis: Phase-Contrast Microscopy
  • Common Crystals
      • Crystals
      • Identification of Crystals
      • Table: Normal Crystals
  • Abnormal Crystals
      • Abnormal Crystals
      • Crystals of Clinical Significance
      • Leucine Crystals
      • Tyrosine Crystals
      • Cystine Crystals
      • Cholesterol Crystals
      • Bilirubin Crystals
      • Summary of Abnormal Crystals
  • Artifacts in Urine Sediment
      • Introduction to Artifacts in Urine Sediment
      • Oil or Fat Droplets
      • Air Bubbles
      • Starch Granules
      • Fibers
  • Miscellaneous Elements
      • Sperm
      • Sperm Under Phase Contrast
      • Mucous Threads
      • Mucous Threads: Phase-Contrast Microscopy
  • Distinguishing Structures That May Be Confused With Each Other
      • Introduction to Distinguishing Similar Elements
      • Distinguishing Yeast from Red Blood Cells
      • Distinguishing Renal Tubular Epithelial (RTE) Cells from White Blood Cells (WBCs)
      • Bacteria and Amorphous Material
      • Bacteria and Amorphous Material, continued
      • Fat Droplets and RBCs
      • Starch Granules and Urinary Crystals
      • Distinguishing Eosinophils from Neutrophils
  • Correlation of Microscopic and Macroscopic Results
      • Correlation of Results
  • References
      • References

Additional Information

Level of Instruction: Basic
Intended Audience: Medical laboratory and other healthcare personnel who perform microscopic analysis of urine sediment. This course is also appropriate for medical laboratory science and medical laboratory technician students. 
Author Information: Betty Smith MT (ASCP), Kathleen Ann Foster, MS, MT(ASCP) SM
Reviewer Information: Mary Ann McLane, Ph.D, MT(ASCP) 
Course Description: This course was adapted by MediaLab, under license from Education Materials for Health Professionals, Inc. Dayton OH, 45420. Copyright EMHP. This course covers the basics of urine microscopic examination, including numerous brightfield and phase-contrast images of urinary sediment elements. It is assumed that students have a basic knowledge of urinalysis macroscopic and dipstick examination. The course covers specimen collections and processing, casts, cellular elements, normal and abnormal crystals, parasites, artifacts, and basic biochemical tests to help identify certain elements. It describes a method of quantitation of urine specimens, and emphasizes the intelligent correlation of macroscopic and microscopic results, by the reported technologist.

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