Dr. Alan Greene on Sterile Pyuria

My 6-year-old has white blood cells in her urine.

Question

My 6-year-old has white blood cells in her urine but with nothing growing on the culture. Her pediatrician is concerned. Do you know what could cause this?

Answer

The condition of having white blood cells in the urine with no bacteria growing on the culture is called sterile pyuria, which just means white blood cells in the absence of infection or proven infection. It might be only a passing thing or it can be a sign of kidney disease, tuberculosis, lupus, or a variety of different drugs that can cause this.

Your pediatrician is right not to ignore this. It is something that should be evaluated to look for the cause.

 

The information on this Web site is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your pediatrician or family doctor. Please consult a doctor with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your or your child's condition.

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