The RBC urine test measures the number of red blood cells in a urine sample.
A random sample of urine is collected. Random means that the sample is collected at any time either at the lab or at home. If needed, the health care provider may ask you to collect your urine at home over 24 hours. Your provider will tell you how to do this.
A clean-catch urine sample is needed. The clean-catch method is used to prevent germs from the penis or vagina from getting into a urine sample. To collect your urine, the provider may give you a special clean-catch kit that contains a cleansing solution and sterile wipes. Follow instructions exactly so that the results are accurate.
No special preparation is necessary for this test.
The test involves only normal urination. There is no discomfort.
This test is done as part of a urinalysis test.
A normal result is 4 red blood cells per high power field (RBC/HPF) or less when the sample is examined under a microscope.
The example above is a common measurement for a result of this test. Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Some labs use different measurements or test different samples. Talk to your provider about the meaning of your specific test result.
A higher than normal number of RBCs in the urine may be due to:
There are no risks with this test.
Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.