What do rare epithelial cells in urine mean?

Posted by Amelia on December 15, 2022
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    You've probably heard of epithelial cells before. They're the type of cell that lines your body's cavities, including your lungs and digestive tract. But have you ever wondered what epithelial cells look like? Or what they mean when they show up in your urine? Epithelial cells are so small that you can't see them under a microscope; instead, doctors use other methods for diagnosing diseases that may be causing rare epithelial cells in urine.

    Epithelial cells are cells that grow everywhere on the surface of your body.

    Epithelial cells are found in the lining of your bladder, urethra, vagina and cervix. They also help keep the mucous membranes of your respiratory tract moist. If you have a cough or runny nose, there's a good chance that some of the tissue inside your lungs has been damaged by epithelial cells.

    When you urinate, epithelial cells can clog up your flow by sticking together to form small masses like kidney stones or sand in an hourglass shape. These masses can block urine flow as they move through your kidneys or bladder; this is what causes urinary tract infections (UTIs).

    The most common epithelial cells in urine belong to the squamous type.

    So what are these epithelial cells? And why does it matter if there are more or less of them?

    Squamous cells, also known as squamous epithelial cells, make up the lining of your mouth, nose, throat and uterus. They are flat and have a square shape. These types of cells also tend to be found in places that come into contact with air such as your lungs and bladder. Squamous cell carcinoma is one type of cancer that can develop from these cells—but this is rare.

    Rare epithelial cells in urine can be several types, including transitional and columnar.

    Rare epithelial cells in urine can be several types, including transitional and columnar. Transitional cells are the most common type of rare epithelial cells, and they are found on the surface of your bladder and lining of your urethra. They can also be found in both men and women.

    Columnar cells are more rare than transitional ones. They're also located in your urethra, but unlike transitional cells which extend from your bladder to just above where you urinate (the end), columnar cells reside only in the distal section of this canal - that is to say, closer to where you pee from.

    Having rare epithelial cells in your urine is not usually cause for concern.

    You can usually breathe easy in situations like this. Rare epithelial cells in urine are, as you might have guessed, not a cause for concern. They are often found in the normal urinary system and can occur without any symptoms. If you experience any discomfort or other symptoms after a positive test result for rare epithelial cells in your urine, consult your doctor to make sure there isn't something more serious going on.

    Your doctor may want you to get retested after a few days if the test was positive for rare epithelial cells. This is because sometimes these results may be false positives and come from an infection or another condition that will go away on its own within a few days without treatment.

    If you have rare epithelial cells in your urine, you may need to get retested after a few days.

    If you are diagnosed with rare epithelial cells in your urine, it's important to know that this test alone is not conclusive. You may want to get a second opinion from another doctor or lab before making any decisions about treatment or what steps to take next.

    If you're concerned about having rare epithelial cells in your urine and want to be sure that they're not a sign of cancer, it's possible that retesting will provide enough evidence (or not) for you to make an informed decision about what steps to take next. If your results are inconclusive on their own, getting retested after a few days could help confirm whether or not the rare epithelial cells were benign or malignant.

    You should also consider having the test done at one of two specific labs: Quest Diagnostics or LabCorp (depending on where you live). These two labs have been consistently rated as some of the most accurate in their field when it comes to diagnosing bladder cancer early enough for treatment plans to work effectively.

    Red blood cells

    Red blood cells are the most common type of cell found in urine. They're produced in the bone marrow and released into the bloodstream, where they carry oxygen to your body's tissues. As red blood cells age, they lose their flexible outer membrane, become brittle and fragile, and eventually rupture. When this happens outside of your body (for example, when a specimen is being collected for testing), it's called hemolysis—and it can create an abnormal appearance on your lab report.

    It's important to note that hemolysis is not necessarily indicative of an infection or other condition; it can occur due to various factors such as exercise or frequent urination during collection. If you're experiencing any symptoms that could indicate an underlying medical issue (such as fever), consult a doctor prior to submitting any specimens for analysis

    White blood cells

    White blood cells are the immune system’s first line of defense against foreign invaders. They can attack any number of intruders, including germs, fungi and viruses.

    White blood cells are small with round or oval-shaped nuclei surrounded by a dense cytoplasm (the clear part of a cell). In urine samples, white blood cells may look like large granular forms or they may be so small that they appear only as dots.

    The normal range for white blood cells in urine is between zero and 5 WBCs per high power field (HPF). When your test result shows an abnormally high number of white blood cells in urine, it’s important to find out why this might be occurring so you can begin treatment if necessary.

    Squamous cells

    Squamous cells are a type of epithelial cell, which make up the most common type of cell in your body. They line the surfaces of your body and organs, including the inside of your mouth and throat.

    In addition to making up the outer layer of your skin, they can also be found in other areas such as:

    • The cervix (the lower part) during pregnancy.
    • Ingested food that is swallowed into the stomach and intestines (e.g., meats).

    Transitional (urothelial) cells

    Transitional cells are shed from the lining of your urinary tract, and they're the most common type of cell found in urine. They're usually not a cause for concern, but they may be seen when you have an infection or inflammation in your urinary tract. That being said, transitional cells can also be found when you have an ectopic pregnancy (a pregnancy that occurs outside the uterus), which means that transitional cells may appear more often than expected during pregnancy.

    Transitional cell carcinoma is another condition where transitional cells may appear more frequently than expected. This form of cancer often develops in older men who have been exposed to asbestos; it's rarer than squamous cell carcinoma but much more likely to spread beyond one area of the body (known as metastasis).


    If you have any questions about epithelial cells in urine or the way your body works, please don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our trained experts. We are here to help you!

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