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Alternative namesWBC esterase
DefinitionLeukocyte esterase is a urine test for the presence of white blood cells and other abnormalities associated with infection.
How the test is performed
Child or adult:
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, as they may displace the bag). Drain the urine into a container and give it to the health care provider.
How to prepare for the testNo special preparation is necessary for this test, but if the collection is being taken from an infant, extra collection bags may be necessary.
How the test will feelThe test will involve only normal urination, and there is no discomfort.
Why the test is performedLeukocyte esterase is a screening test used to detect an enzyme that suggests the presence of leukocytes (white blood cells), and probably a urinary tract infection . This test is part of the routine dipstick test. If this test is positive, the urine should be examined microscopically for the presence of white blood cells and other abnormalities associated with infection.
Normal ValuesA negative test result is normal.
What abnormal results meanAn abnormal result indicates a positive test and a possible urinary tract infection.
What the risks areThere are no risks.
Special considerationsFalse positive tests can be produced by contamination with vaginal secretions (such as blood or heavy mucus discharge), or by a Trichomonas infection (such as trichomoniasis ).
False negative tests can be produced by the presence of high levels of protein or ascorbic acid (Vitamin C).
Update Date: 1/19/2004Irfan A. Agha, M.D., Department of Medicine, St. Louis University, St. Louis, MO. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT