What does ‘leukocyte esterase ua moderate’ mean?

  • What does “leukocyte esterase ua moderate” mean?

    UA = urinalysis (analysis of urine)

    Leukocyte esterase (LE) = a type of enzyme contained in most leukocytes (white blood cells), tested for on a urine dipstick (first part of a urinalysis)

    The presence of white blood cells in the urine indicates inflammation of some kind. Most commonly, it indicates a urinary tract infection.

    However, there are other causes of LE being present in the urine not due to infection:

    • Such as in interstitial cystitis (inflammation).
    • Also, classically, if someone has taken phenazopyridine (brandnames Pyridium or Azo —the stuff that turns your urine orange), this test will be a false positive: that is, the test will say LE is present in the urine, but actually, this test result is caused by the drug itself. There are some other drugs that cause give a similar false positive result.

    Moderate amount is exactly what it sounds like: there’s a moderate amount of the leukocyte esterase in the urine on a dipstick.

    The urine is typically further analyzed under the microscope when a positive result such as the ‘moderate LE’ is found: visually, the presence of white blood cells is confirmed (or not). If white blood cells are found, the urine is then also typically sent for a urine culture to see if any specific bacteria are found growing in the urine.


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    In a urinalysis, this is a chemical that’s tested for. When leukoctyes, or white blood cells, are present in the urine, they produce this chemical called leukocyte esterase. Sometimes it can be detected even if no white cells are present as they can disintegrate and still leave behind the chemical. The 1+ is just a grading system from 0 (for none found), to 1+, which means a little, 2+, meaning a moderate amount, 3+ meaning quite a lot and 4+, translating to copious amounts. If there is leukocyte esterase present in your urine, chances are you have a urinary tract infection and should be treated for it with antibiotics before it travels to the kidneys, which could result in a very serious issue.

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    This basically means you have a urinary infection which could be in the bladder or other parts of the urinary tract. See your doctor and get a clinical examination.


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    Urinalysis (UA) high white blood corpuscles (WBC). High levels of WBCs in your urine also suggest that you have an infection. In this case, your body is trying to fight off an infection somewhere in your urinary tract.

    Urinalysis (UA) red blood corpuscles. Red blood cells (RBCs) can be present in your urine, whether you see pink in the toilet bowl or not. Having RBCs in your urine is called hematuria.

    There are two types of hematuria:

    • Gross hematuria means blood is visible in your urine.
    • Microscopic hematuria involves RBCs that can only be seen under a microscope.

    RBCs aren’t typically found in urine. Their presence is usually a sign of an underlying health issue, such as an infection or irritation of the tissues of your urinary tract.

    It may indicate a urinary tract infection. If you came to see me because of symptoms such as painful or frequent urination I would give you a prescription for an antibiotic.

    If you have no symptoms and the result was an incidental finding I wouldn’t treat it immediately and send it for culture and see if the results are truly significant.


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    High leukocyte count in the urine is highly suggestive of infection. Urinary infection can be in the kidney, bladder or prostate in a male. An ultrasound of the abdomen and pelvis needs to be done in preperation for a Urologist consultantion.


    This may be just inflammation, not uncommon in females, but could mean an upcoming infection. Try the following to ease the inflammation.

    Try wearing undies of 100% cotton, and white only, that are not too tight; the same with jeans. Use only white toilet paper. After intercourse, get up, urinate, and wash with a very mild soap, rinse thoroughly, and dry.

    Some females will get irritation from spicy food, as well. Drink plenty of water.

    These simple things should ease any inflammation, and help prevent infection. However, if you are still getting positive nitrites, ask for a microscopic exam of the urine sediment as well there may be a lingering, mild infection.

    There should be no leukocytes (white blood cells) in urine. In healthy kidneys, the cellular components of blood (red and white blood cells and platelets) are not filtered out of the blood. If leukocytes are detected in the urine, it usually indicates some infection of the urinary tract or the breakdown of the filtration membranes within the kidney tubules that have allowed the leukocytes to leave the blood as it passes through the kidneys.


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