Urinalysis Techniques

• Biochemical/metabolic:

i. colorimetric 'dipsticks' read manually from reference chart or by automated machine within 15s — 2min of dipping in urine (see manufacturer's instructions). Usually performed at the bedside.

ii. sodium and potassium levels can be measured in most analysers used for plasma electrolyte measurement. Recalibration of the machine or special dilution techniques may be required.

iii. laboratory analysis

• Haematological — either by dipstick or laboratory testing

• Microbiological — microscopy, culture, sensitivity; antigen tests

• Renal disease — usually by microscopy + laboratory testing

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