Types of Hematuria

Hematuria is a health condition that is characterized by the presence of blood in the urine. There are two main types of hematuria that are known as microscopic and macroscopic hematuria. Hematuria can also be classified according to the cause of the blood in the urine.

Image Credit: Tom Schoumakers / Shutterstock.com

In microscopic hematuria, there is no visual evidence of the presence of blood, unless the urine is viewed under a microscope. Comparatively, macroscopic hematuria is evident immediately with red discoloration of the urine.

Microscopic hematuria

The concentration of blood in the urine is not visible to the naked eye in microscopic hematuria and can only be detected under a microscope.

Some individuals are affected by microscopic hematuria without an identifiable cause, which is referred to as idiopathic hematuria. This is thought to result from an increased excretion of red blood cells (RBCs) in respect to what is considered to be normal, although the condition may not be associated with adverse effects on the individual.

Macroscopic hematuria

Also known as frank or gross hematuria, macroscopic hematuria involves visible discoloration of the urine as a result of a greater concentration of blood in the urine. The color of the urine is usually described as pink, red, or dark brown. Additionally, there may also be evidence of small or large blood clots in some cases.

It is not necessary for a large volume of blood to be present for the color of the urine to be altered. In fact, 1 milliliter (mL) of blood is sufficient to precipitate a change in color. Additionally, the volume of blood may not be an accurate indicator of the severity of the underlying cause, and even a small quantity of blood may have serious repercussions and vice versa.

Joggers hematuria

“Joggers hematuria” is a specific type of hematuria that occurs as a result of recurrent damage to the bladder during activities such as jogging and long-distance running.

Get the Facts about Hematuria - Urology Care Foundation

Classification by cause

Hematuria can also be classified according to the cause of the condition, as follows:

  • Infective hematuria: This form of hematuria arises due to pyelonephritis, cystitis, or urethritis.
  • Stones-related hematuria: This form of hematuria arises due to staghorn calculi, calcium stones, or uric acid stones.
  • Trauma-related hematuria: This condition occurs due to pelvic trauma, renal injuries, or foreign bodies.
  • Renal hematuria: Renal hematuria can occur as a result of IgA nephropathy, hereditary nephritis, medullary sponge kidney, or thin basement membrane diseases.
  • Iatrogenic hematuria: This form of hematuria is due to a recent endoscopic procedure, trans-rectal ultrasound, traumatic catheterization, radiation, indwelling ureteric stents, renal biopsy, or extracorporeal shockwave lithotripsy.
  • Benign hematuria: Benign hematuria can be due to strictures, renal masses, or benign prostatic hypertrophy.
  • Malignant hematuria: This form of hematuria is due to prostate acinar adenocarcinoma or renal cell, transitional cell, squamous cell, or urothelial cell carcinoma.

Other causes of red discoloration

While red discoloration is the most distinctive feature of hematuria, there are various other causes that can lead to this discoloration of urine. These may include the presence of pigments such as:

  • Myoglobin (indicative of myoglobinuria)
  • Porphyrins (indicative of porphyria)
  • Betanin (in beets)

Additionally, some drugs can have a similar effect on the body, including rifampicin, phenazopyridine, sulphonamides, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).


Further Reading

Last Updated: Mar 14, 2023

Yolanda Smith

Written by

Yolanda Smith

Yolanda graduated with a Bachelor of Pharmacy at the University of South Australia and has experience working in both Australia and Italy. She is passionate about how medicine, diet and lifestyle affect our health and enjoys helping people understand this. In her spare time she loves to explore the world and learn about new cultures and languages.


Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

  • APA

    Smith, Yolanda. (2023, March 14). Types of Hematuria. News-Medical. Retrieved on July 21, 2024 from https://www.news-medical.net/health/Types-of-Hematuria.aspx.

  • MLA

    Smith, Yolanda. "Types of Hematuria". News-Medical. 21 July 2024. <https://www.news-medical.net/health/Types-of-Hematuria.aspx>.

  • Chicago

    Smith, Yolanda. "Types of Hematuria". News-Medical. https://www.news-medical.net/health/Types-of-Hematuria.aspx. (accessed July 21, 2024).

  • Harvard

    Smith, Yolanda. 2023. Types of Hematuria. News-Medical, viewed 21 July 2024, https://www.news-medical.net/health/Types-of-Hematuria.aspx.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
Post a new comment

While we only use edited and approved content for Azthena answers, it may on occasions provide incorrect responses. Please confirm any data provided with the related suppliers or authors. We do not provide medical advice, if you search for medical information you must always consult a medical professional before acting on any information provided.

Your questions, but not your email details will be shared with OpenAI and retained for 30 days in accordance with their privacy principles.

Please do not ask questions that use sensitive or confidential information.

Read the full Terms & Conditions.