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Dr. Abby
Dr. Abby, Board Certified MD
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 10330
Experience:  Family Physician, practicing medicine for over 10 years, United States
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What does WBC Esterase 1+ Abnormal mean?

Resolved Question:

lab work done. Came back wih WBC Esterase 1+ Abnormal. What does this mean?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Dr. Abby replied 7 years ago.

This was a urine test, correct?
Were you having any burning with urination?
Were you urinating more frequently?

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
No. I had a complete blood workup done as I have not been feeling well generally.
Expert:  Dr. Abby replied 7 years ago.
Did you have a urine test done as well?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Yes I did.

From the report:

Urinalysis Gross Exam

Specific Gravity: 1.020

pH: 7.0

Urine Color: Yellow

WBC Esterase: 1+ Abnormal

Protein: Trace

glucose: negative

ketones: negative

occult blood: negative

bilirubin: negative

urobilinogen, Semi-Qn: 0.0

nitrite, urine: negative

Microspcopic examination:

WBS: 0-5

RBC: 0-3

Epithelial Cells (non renal) : >10 Abnormal

mucus threads: present

bacteria: few

Do you need more information?

Expert:  Dr. Abby replied 7 years ago.

Thank you for the additional information, it was exactly what I needed.

The WBC esterase can be a sign of a urinary tract infection. It is an enzyme that is released by white blood cells.
Your urinalysis did show that you had some epithelial cells, so it was not a great specimen (not a good clean catch) and was contaminated with some vaginal skin cells.

Since your WBC's were low, you likely do not actually have a true urinary tract infection, especially because you do not have any symptoms.

I would consider sending the urine for a culture to confirm that no bacteria grow though.

Let me know if you have any other questions or if my answer isn't clear.

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