The Rate of Manual Microscopic Examination of Urine Sediment: A College of American Pathologists Q-Probes Study of 11 243 Urinalysis Tests from 88 Institutions.
The traditional urinalysis is composed of 2 parts, the dipstick to measure several analytes and the manual microscopic examination (MME) of the urine sediment. The microscopic examination of urine sediment is a labor-intensive procedure with limited precision. (1-3) Most laboratories now use some form of automation to perform the dipstick analysis. Many laboratories have established “rules” based on dipstick results to determine whether or not an MME of urine sediment should be performed, because the dipstick results may be highly predictive of the need to examine the sediment. (4-6) A number of instruments are also capable of automating the examination of the urine sediment. In many cases, the results obtained from this instrumentation may obviate the need for a traditional, labor-intensive MME of the urine sediment. (7-18) In this Q-Probes-based study, we determine the percent of urinalysis specimens on which an MME of the urine sediment was performed, document how various practice and procedural characteristics influence the rate of manual microscopic urine sediment examination, and determine whether any new information was learned from the MME. MATERIALS AND METHODS