What does TNTC RBCs in urinalysis mean?

Posted by Amelia on December 15, 2022
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    You may have seen the term TNTC RBCs in your doctor's notes or on a lab report. It stands for "too numerous to count." This is a common phrase used by doctors and lab technicians when they can't accurately count red blood cells in your urine sample without making a mistake. It's important to understand what this means so you know how to interpret your test results correctly.

    A urologist explains what TNTC RBCs in urinalysis means.

    A urologist is a doctor who specializes in conditions affecting the urinary system, including the kidneys, bladder, and urethra.

    There are several possible causes of TNTC RBCs in urinalysis. These include:

    • Blood clots - Blood clots can be caused by heart disease or other conditions that reduce blood flow through the body's large veins. Blood can also begin to clot after someone has surgery or trauma to their muscles or tissues. Blood clots may break off from one part of the body and get stuck in another part where they cause pain and swelling (inflammation). If there are enough blood clots present in your urine sample for them to show up on a test, this could signal an underlying condition called thrombophilia which makes it more likely for you to develop blood clots that block your small vessels throughout your body
    • Kidney failure - When someone has kidney failure (also known as end stage renal disease), their kidneys aren't able to remove wastes and excess water from their bodies anymore so they become dehydrated very quickly unless properly treated with dialysis treatments or kidney transplants

    RBCs naturally occur in your bloodstream.

    Red blood cells (RBCs) are the most common type of blood cell, and they're responsible for transporting oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body. When they reach their destination, RBCs release the oxygen and pick up carbon dioxide. They then transport this back to the lungs so that it can be expelled.

    One common cause of hematuria is urinary tract infections (UTIs).

    A UTI is one of the most common causes of hematuria. A UTI occurs when bacteria or other organisms enter the urinary tract and cause an infection. These infections can be treated with antibiotics and are usually not serious unless they become complicated by another condition, such as kidney failure or heart disease.

    There are several other potential causes for a positive urinalysis, including sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), diabetes, and kidney disease.

    The presence of red blood cells in the urine is known as hematuria.

    Hematuria is the presence of red blood cells in the urine. Hematuria can be caused by many conditions, including infections, kidney stones and cancer.

    Hematuria may be a sign that something is wrong with your kidneys or urinary tract.

    Additional causes may include kidney stones, prostate conditions, and bladder or kidney cancer.

    • Kidney stones
    • Prostate conditions
    • Bladder or kidney cancer
    • Kidney infection (pyelonephritis)
    • Infection in the urinary tract (cystitis)

    If you notice blood in your urine, be sure to see a doctor.

    When it comes to urine, your doctor can test it for red blood cells, white blood cells and bacteria. If you notice blood in your urine, be sure to see a doctor!

    Some of the reasons why you might experience blood in your urine are:

    • Urinary tract infections often cause bloody urine.
    • Pregnancy (especially before 20 weeks). In early pregnancy, many women have brown or pinkish vaginal discharge that also may contain some blood. This is normal and not a cause for concern unless it's heavier than usual or accompanied by abdominal pain or fever (over 100 degrees F).

    TNTC RBCs in a urinalysis test means that the red blood cell count is too high to be counted accurately.

    If you have an elevated RBC count, your doctor may order a urinalysis. A urinalysis is performed using a urine culture test. The presence of too many red blood cells in the urine can be caused by infections or kidney disease, and it can also indicate that you have excess hemoglobin in your body (hemoglobin is the protein which transports oxygen). While hemoglobin is primarily found in red blood cells, it's also present in other tissues as well. If you have too much of this protein circulating through your system, it will show up in the urine along with its carrier molecule: hemoglobin. The result of this test could be positive for either one or both reasons—too many red blood cells could mean that there's sufficient amount of free-floating hemoglobin, but it could also mean that there's an infection present and the immune system has been working overtime to fight off whatever's causing those extra RBCs.

    In addition to being able to determine whether or not excess RBCs are present due to infection or kidney disease (and therefore determine if further tests such as CT scans might be necessary), this test can also help doctors determine if someone has leukemia or another blood disorder like polycythemia vera (an overproduction of red blood cells), sickle cell disease (malformed red blood cells) or thalassemia major (an inherited defect where some people make fewer than normal amounts).


    If you notice blood in your urine, be sure to see a doctor. The presence of red blood cells in the urine is known as hematuria. One common cause of hematuria is urinary tract infections (UTIs), but additional causes may include kidney stones, prostate conditions, and bladder or kidney cancer. If the diagnosis is UTI, then treatment typically includes antibiotics; if no infection can be found then other treatments may be required

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