For years we have been interested in the problems of nephritis in childhood. In the follow-up study of nephritic children the presence of continued hematuria is, among other data, of great significance. We were therefore interested in comparing several methods of detecting the presence and degree of hematuria in the patients we have seen recently.
The ordinary routine microscopic examination of the urinary sediment has the one great advantage of simplicity. The finding of red blood cells in a freshly voided specimen of urine is a valuable observation, as it is usually a definite indication of a pathologic condition in the genitourinary tract. The absence of red cells in a chance specimen needs a different interpretation. Alkaline urine quickly destroys red blood cells. Examination of a dilute specimen will often be negative for red blood cells unless sufficient time is allowed for sedimentation or the specimen is centrifuged.