The amount of red blood cell in urine does not denote any diagnostic information. This can come due to following reason;
1) Stone disease
2) Diverticulum of the bladder
3) Infection in kidney, bladder; prostatitis is very common in your age with no symptoms
4) Urinary tract obstruction; like prostate enlargement
5) Sickle cell disease
6) Kidney and bladder tumor
Whenever the red blood cell come in urine; all of us are worried about the cancer. But this is not the commonest cause. Obstruction and infection of the urinary tract are the commonest reason and easily treatable. Urine culture and an ultrasound are the first investigative protocol. Intravenous pyelography, CT scan, cystoscopy, etc may be followed depending on the initial investigative results. The investigation of hematuria begins with a search for bacteruria (bacteria in urine) or pyuria (pus in urine). If either is present, a urine culture should be ordered to confirm urinary tract infection (UTI). In the absence of infection, the next step is to distinguish glomerular and nonglomerular sources of hematuria. Following would be required in step wise fashion;
1) Intravenous pyelography
2) Multidetector CT urography
3) Cystoscopy (camera examination)
If these investigations are not conclusive for the diagnosis MR urography would be advised.
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Please feel free for your follow up questions.
How does my red blood cell count 10 to 20 compare to being very bad, bad, or just enough to have concern. I guess what i am asking is if this count is a lot or a little, both of which probably needs attention.
The number of red cells alone does not create cause of concern. A 3-4 red cells can be due to cancer and 10 cells can be due to infection and vice versa. So, number as a sole criteria, would not create diagnostic information or cause of concern. So the increasing number of 10-20, as we discussed will have same diagnostic protocol as 2-5 red blood cells or 5-10 red cells. The red blood cells in urine come due to causes like prostate infection, bladder infection, bladder diverticulum, in your age group, commonly. These cause are easily treatable and my counsel would be; please do not worry at all.
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