Urine Test And Artery Disease

    May-02-2009

Findings of a recent research by German scientists have hinted that someday it would be possible to forecast coronary artery aliments by conducting a simple urine examination. The new urine examination will try to detect the presence of protein collagen pieces in the urine. It may be mentioned here that collagen, especially found in the skin, bone, cartilage, tendon and teeth, performs a key function in obstructing the heart arteries.

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During the course of their study, the researchers detected that compared to the present procedure of foretelling coronary artery ailment called 'coronary angiography', the urine tests conducted by them was 84 per cent correct. Nevertheless, the research was very limited and the scientists are of the opinion that they require to go back to the animal prototypes with a view to acquire new answers before they are able to carry out more urine tests in humans.

According to the author of the study and a fellow in cardiology at the University Hospital Freiberg, Dr. Constantin von zur Muehlen, the concept behind the urine examination is to try to find collagen that develops into a fibrous top on the inside layer of the arteries. Such tops or caps manufacture collagen pieces known as proteomes. The research team headed by Muehlen discovered 17 proteomes in the patients suffering from coronary artery ailments. These proteomes are not found in other people. Dr. Muehlen said that acute amassing of these proteomes in urine is an indication of an artery ailment.

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In all, 67 people possessing symptoms of coronary artery ailment were requested to supply their urine sample for this research. These urine samples were examined to find proteomes and when the findings of these tests were compared to the outcomes of the coronary angiography, it was established that the results of the urine tests conducted by Dr. Muehlen's research team were 84 per cent correct. According to Dr. Muehlen, figures collected by the research team hinted that examining proteome pieces found in the urine gives an idea about their great potential. Dr. Muehlen said that proteome analysis is not only simple to use, demonstrates tremendous capability to reproduce and also does not injure in any way.

Dr. Constantin von zur Muehlen provided an account of the discoveries of his research team at the American Heart Association's Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology conference in Washington, D.C.

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Many physicians state that they have been looking for different ways to make a diagnosis of the coronary artery ailment without including 'coronary angiography' in the process. In fact, several other researchers on the subject have concentrated on finding other biomarkers (specific physical traits used to measure or indicate the effects of a disease) such as albumin in urine. However, thus far none of the tests have succeeded.

Meanwhile, Dr. Muehlen has stated that his research team will undertake more studies on the urine examination to improve it aptitude to forecast artery ailments. They now intend to work with a breed of mice genetically engineered to acquire coronary artery ailment as they mature.

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What is urine test?

One of the most common tests that are undertaken to determine as well as treat an ailment is urine test, also known as urine analysis (UA). This test is generally performed to find whether the kidneys are functioning properly and well as the functioning of some additional organs to diagnose an assortment of ailments. Urine tests provide a comprehensive idea regarding a person's health as well as the problems he/ she may be enduring - in case there are any.

In fact, urine test is necessary for the diagnosis and subsequent treatment of several diseases. It is helpful to detecting ailments or it aids in diagnosing as well as monitoring diseases. Urine test also helps to determine if any woman has conceived or is ovulating.

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In addition to using urine test for determining ailments and pregnancy, it is also extensively used in rehabilitation programs as well as professional sports for examining various substances associated with drug abuse. In order to have a quick urine test, experts have introduced a strip made from special paper. Soon after the subject urinates, pathologists dip this strip to determine the existence of anomalous substances, such as sugar, protein and/ or blood in the subject's urine. In case a detailed urine examination is needed, a sample of the urine is taken and sent to the laboratory for proper analysis.

Provided the physicians suspect the development of a cystitis (an infection in the urinary bladder), a urine test is performed to detect the nature of the bacteria as well as to determine the precise antibiotics which will work best in curing the condition.

It may be noted that urine becomes contaminated very easily owing to the presence of bacteria on the skin or on our genitals. Therefore, both men and women ought to clean their genitals and the region around it thoroughly prior to collecting the urine sample for sending it to the laboratory for necessary tests. People who can pass urine easily on demand are advised to first urinate in the toilet before they collect the urine sample in the specimen container. Again, the remaining urine may be passed in the toilet. This system of collecting urine sample is known as midstream specimen.

Another method of collecting urine sample is known as the double-voided sample. This method involves collecting the sample urine made by a body just prior to the time of passing urine. In order to collect the double-voided sample, you should first pass your entire urine in the toilet. When this is done, drink a couple of glasses (8 oz glass each) of water and wait for about 30 minutes to 40 minutes. Subsequently, save the urine sample in the specimen container. Now, ensure that you carry the sample to the laboratory in no more than an hour's time. In case it is not possible for you to reach the laboratory within an hour, it is advisable that you refrigerate the sample and take it in that condition to the laboratory.

In fact, urine test is a very inexpensive as well as easy means to obtain a variety of information about diseases. Urine test is also helpful in detecting the ailments plaguing our different organs without much difficulty. At times, urine test physicians also ask for urine tests together with blood or stool tests to obtain further details regarding diseases.

Urine tests provide us with a vast range of information regarding diseases. Some of the information we get from a urine test are listed below.

In case the urine contains blood, it is thought to be an indication of some kidney ailment, diseases related to the urinary system or bladder problems. On the other hand, if sugar is present in the urine sample of a person, it denotes that the individual is having diabetes.

Presence of protein like substances in the urine denotes kidney ailments and if the amount of protein is quite significant, it is a sign of damaged kidneys. Similarly, biochemical analysis of the urine sample facilitates the process related to diagnosis of conditions such as kidney stones, myeloma and porphyria.

Urine test also assists in diagnosing bladder cancer as well as its treatment. The cells that are dropped from the bladder lining (cytology) are present in the urine in case a person is having bladder cancer and these cells present in the urine sample can be detected as well as analyzed when placed under a microscope.

Test results of urine in detail

The color, odour, clarity, pH, glucose and several other constituents and attributes of the urine samples reveal much about the disease a person may be having and, thereby, help the physicians in treating those conditions. Some of the specific indicators of urine sample vis-à-vis diseases are mentioned briefly below.

Color
The normal color of our urine varies from pale to dark yellow. When a urine sample is colorless, it is assumed that it may be owing to a kidney ailment, uncontrolled diabetes, which the person may be enduring for long. In case the color of the urine is very dark yellow, it is likely that the person is suffering from dehydration. On the other hand, if the color of the urine is red, it denotes that the urine contains blood and it is indication of damaged kidneys and/ or bladder.
Odour
Under normal circumstances, the odour of the urine is nut-like or nutty. However, it will have a sweet or fruit-like odour if a person is suffering from uncontrolled diabetes. In case the urine has a foul smell, it is indicative of UTI or urinary tract infection. On the other hand, when the urine has a smell akin to that of maple syrup, it denotes that the person is suffering from maple syrup urine ailment. This occurs when one's body is not able to break down certain amino acids.
Clarity
Normally, our urine is clear. However, sometimes it turns cloudy due to the presence of sperm, blood, pus, bacteria, yeast, mucus, parasite infections and/ or crystals.
Glucose
Under normal conditions some amount of glucose is present in the urine. However, when there is excessive glucose in the urine it may be an indication of uncontrolled diabetes, problems related to the adrenal glands, damaged liver, some kidney ailments, some kind of poisoning in the body and even injuries to the brain. Even the urine of a healthy woman can contain glucose during her pregnancy.
Protein
Generally, our urine does not contain any protein. However, the presence of protein in the urine is an indication of cancer, damaged kidney, high blood pressure (hypertension), some kinds of infection, diabetes, or systemic lupus erythematosus. Our urine may also contain protein owing to the presence of glomerulonephritis. This may also be an indication of poisoning in the body, a heart failure, or leukemia. If the urine of a pregnant woman contains protein, it will be a result of preeclampsia.
pH
Under normal conditions, the pH value of the urine varies from 4.6 to 8.0, but consumption of a number of fruits or taking some medications may have an effect on the urine's pH level. When the pH level of the urine is high, it may be due to kidney diseases, infections of the urinary tract, vomiting and sometimes also due to asthma. On the other hand, low pH may be a result of an overdose of aspirin, lung ailment, uncontrolled diabetes, starvation, and diarrhea, dehydration, drinking excessive alcohol or anti-freeze.
Ketones
The normal urine does not contain ketones. When the urine contains ketones, it is an indication of having a diet low in carbohydrate content, uncontrolled diabetes, eating disorders, starvation, or some kind of poisoning because of rubbing alcohol. Ketones may also be present in the urine when a person is fasting, or when one is ailing and did not consume any food for days or has been vomiting for a long time. In fact, ketones are present in very low levels in the urine of women during pregnancy.
Specific gravity
Usually the specific gravity of the urine ranges between 1.005 and 1.030. When the specific gravity of the urine is more than the standard level, it signifies that the person is drinking very less fluid or he/ she has lost much body fluid owing to sweating, vomiting or diarrhea. The specific gravity of urine may also be high owing to kidney ailments owing to diuretic use. On the other hand, the specific gravity of urine may be lower than the normal when a person is suffering from any kidney disease. It may also be low owing to diuretic use. In addition, drinking excessive fluids may also cause the specific gravity of the urine to be lower than usual.

Microscopic analysis

In case the urine encloses erythrocytes (red blood cells), it may be attributed to a number of things, including any injury to the kidney or bladder, kidney stones, urinary tract infection (UTI), tumor in the bladder or kidney, inflammation of the kidney, and even SLE (systemic lupus erythematosus). The white blood cells (leucocytes) present in the urine are mainly due to tumor inside the bladder, infection of the urinary tract, inflamed kidneys, inflammation beneath the foreskin of the penis or even inside the vagina.

If casts are found in the urine of a person, it denotes that the minute tubes in the kidneys have been damaged. It may also mean that the kidney has been affected by metal poisoning, infection by bacteria, a heart failure or the kidneys have been damaged owing to very less blood circulation to this vital organ.

If large crystals are present in the urine, it indicates the existence of kidney stones or may even denote that the kidneys have been damaged. This problem may even arise owing to anomalous metabolism. Occasionally, specific medications used to treat specific infections of the urinary tract may also demonstrate an increase in the number of such crystals in the urine.

Presence of bacteria in the urine suggests that there is some kind of urinary tract infection (UTI). On the other hand, presence of squamous cells in the urine denotes that the sample of the urine collected for the test is not pure. In such cases, it becomes necessary to obtain an additional sample of the urine and undertake a fresh test.

While taking a urine test, you should always strictly follow the instructions of your physician, as the ensuing treatment and the prescription of medications will largely depend on the findings of the urine test. At the same time, it is advisable that you should reach the laboratory for the test punctually and give the sample of your urine. Most importantly, ensure that you submit the uncontaminated sample of your urine, as this will help the pathologists to give the correct results.

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