Urinary casts are tiny tube-shaped particles that can be found when urine is examined under the microscope during a test called urinalysis.
Urinary casts may be made up of white blood cells, red blood cells, kidney cells, or substances such as protein or fat. The content of a cast can help tell your health care provider whether your kidney is healthy or abnormal.
The urine sample you provide may need to be from your first morning urine. The sample needs to be taken to the lab within 1 hour.
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 needed.
The test involves only normal urination. There is no discomfort.
Your provider may order this test to see if your kidneys are working properly. It may also be ordered to check for certain conditions, such as:
The absence of cellular casts or presence of a few hyaline casts is normal. The examples above are common measurements for results of these tests. 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 results.
Abnormal results may include:
Your provider will tell you more about your results.
There are no risks with this test.
Reviewed By: Laura J. Martin, MD, MPH, ABIM Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Hospice and Palliative Medicine, Atlanta, GA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.