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All information on urinalysis

At a glance

The history of urinalysis goes back to antiquity.
Visual urine tests were already carried out in the ancient Egyptians.

In 400 BC, Hippocrates realized that the smell and color of urine change in various diseases. He assumed that the urine was a filtrate of the four elementary body juices of blood, mucus, yellow bile and black bile.

About 600 years later, the Roman physician and scholar Galen (129-200 A.D.) put forward the theory that urine is merely the filtrate of blood.

This idea influenced medical thinking into the 16th century.

It was not until the end of the 18th century that doctors became increasingly interested in the underlying chemistry and developed scientific foundations for urine testing.

Today, the examination of urine is an elementary diagnostic tool in medicine.

Further information

Urine samples can be tested using various tests. In this way, many diseases can be clarified or their course monitored.

One of the simplest and most widely used methods of examination is the use of urine test stripes.

You dip a test strip into your urine for a few seconds. Depending on the concentration at which substances are present, the relevant fields of the test strip will be discolored in different colours.

The following substances can be tested with common urine rapid tests:

If a simple quick test is not sufficient, or if the rapid test leads to conspicuous values, a complete urine status is performed in a laboratory. It usually consists of three parts:

  1. Assessing the colour, clarity and concentration of urine
  2. Investigation of the chemical composition of the urine with a test strip
  3. Examination of urine with a microscope for bacteria, cells and cell components

A urine culture can also be applied as a further examination if an infection of the kidneys, bladder or urinary tract is suspected. The microbiological examination of urine samples by breeding on breeding soils is referred to as urine culture. For the urine culture, sterilely captured middle-ray urine or catheterurine is applied to soils. Existing pathogens multiply on the soils and can then be further examined microscopically and chemically.


  • Roche Diagnostics Deutschland GmbH (2014): Kompendium der Urinanalyse. Urinteststreifen und Mikroskopie, 1-196 (Ed.), Kompendium der Urinanalyse. Urinteststreifen und Mikroskopie, 1-196
  • Sauerbaum et al. (2016): Medizinische Mikrobiologie und Infektiologie 8. Auflage Springer
  • Grabe et al. (2015): Guidelines on Urologic Infections. European Association of Urology (EAU)
  • Schmiemann et al. (2010): Diagnose des Harnweginfekts In: Deutsches Ärzteblatt Band 107, Nummer 21, 361-7
  • Jocham, Miller (2007): Praxis der Urologie: Band 1, 3. Auflage Thieme
  • Althof, Kindler (2005): Das Harnsediment 7th edition. Thieme
  • Wanka, K.: Urine Culture, URL:
  • Anvil: Urine diagnostics, URL:
Status of information: 2022