Get answers to your Genitourinary cancer questions.
A cytology exam of urine is used to detect cancer and inflammatory diseases of the urinary tract.
A clean catch (midstream) urine sample is needed. For information on how to obtain the sample, see clean catch urine specimen.
The urine sample can also be collected during an examination of the inside of your bladder called cystoscopy.
The urine sample is processed in a laboratory and examined under a microscope by a pathologist who looks for abnormal cells.
No special preparation is needed.
There is no discomfort associated with a clean catch urine specimen.
The test is done to detect cancer and inflammatory diseases of the urinary tract. The test is often done when blood is detected in the urine. It is also useful for monitoring a patient with a history of cancer of the urinary tract. The test may occasionally be ordered for individuals who are at high risk of developing bladder cancer.
The test can also detect cytomegalovirus and other viral diseases.
Bajorin DJ. Tumors of the kidney, bladder, ureters, and renal pelvis. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 207.
Gerber GS, Brendler CB. Evaluation of the urologic patient: History, physical examination, and the urinalysis. In: Wein AJ, ed. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007: chap 3.
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