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Urinary Disorders

Pus in urine sample



2 weeks ago I had severe pain in left kidney area. I visited doctor who put me on penicillin and asked for a urine sample. I have now been told that there is pus in my urine sample and I must have an urgent ultrasound scan, as well as give a fasting blood sample. What can this mean?



Pain in the region of the kidney (flank) with pus in the urine (I assume this refers to white cells seen on urine exam) could be due to various causes, the common ones being infection or stones. You have not mentioned whether you have any other symptoms such as difficulty urinating (pain, burning, frequency, urgency, straining o to void, blood in the urine, etc.). The presence of pus cells in the urine by itself does not always mean infection, but the urine culture report should be able to tell you that better.

Imaging of the kidneys would be required to evaluate for stones, obstruction or rarely a kidney mass (especially if there is associated blood in the urine). This is commonly done with a CT scan or ultrasound (as suggested by your physician). All the above information would need to be reviewed in the context of your clinical situation by your physician or urologist (unless the physician you are seeing now is a urologist), who would then be able to discuss the options for further evaluation/treatment. I hope the information in this reply atleast gives you a general overview of some of the common clinical possibilities associated with your symptoms.

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Response by:

Krishnanath  Gaitonde, MD Krishnanath Gaitonde, MD
Assistant Professor of Clinical Urology
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati