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Alternative namesUrine - hemoglobin
DefinitionHemoglobin is a molecule attached to red blood cells in the blood. Normally, unbound hemoglobin is not excreted in the urine. Hemoglobinuria is the presence of free, unbound hemoglobin in the urine, which is not normal.
How the test is performed
You need to collect a "clean-catch" (midstream) urine sample. To obtain a "clean-catch" sample, men or boys should 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.
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, causing an inability to obtain the specimen. The urine is drained into a container for transport back to the health care provider.
How to prepare for the testNo special preparation is necessary for this test. If the collection is being taken from an infant, a couple of extra collection bags may be necessary.
How the test will feelThe test involves only normal urination.
Why the test is performed
This test may be used to help diagnose:
Hemoglobin is composed of a molecule called heme, and a protein globin. Together, they form a molecule called hemoglobin, which is within red blood cells. The purpose of hemoglobin is to transfer oxygen and carbon dioxide.
In the lungs, the hemoglobin picks up molecules of oxygen. Then, the hemoglobin and oxygen are carried within red blood cells to tissues that need oxygen. The hemoglobin gives up the oxygen and picks up carbon dioxide from the tissue -- which is then carried back to the lungs again in a continuous cycle.
Normal ValuesNormally, hemoglobin does not appear in the urine.
What abnormal results meanHemoglobinuria may be a result of any of the following:
What the risks areThe test has no risks in adults or children, but occasionally an infant may develop a mild skin rash from the adhesive on the collection bag.
Update Date: 4/26/2003David Webner, M.D., Department of Family Medicine, University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT