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Question:

Write a report about the Urinalysis Lab.
 
 

Answer:

Introduction

The act of physical, chemical and microscopic examination of urine is known as Urinalysis. Urinalysis is a major part of measuring the kidney profile, diagnosing patients with Renal disorders, diabetes, urinary tract infection and in forensics, though only theoretically (The forensics Library, n.d.).

Physical examination of urine includes test like volume, odour and appearance. Appearance of urine can be further categorized into colour, turbidity, specific gravity and osmolality.

Normal urine odour is not very string. At times, due to the high specimen concentration, urine might smell strong but it is not necessarily infected though it might indicate an underlying medical condition. Infected urine has a more pungent and unusual smell due to various reasons such as dehydration, urinary tract infection and Diabetes. Some other uncommon urine disorders include bladder fistula, liver disease, Phenylketonuria, Maple syrup urine disease (Kivi, n.d.). Alkaline fermentation causes an ammoniac smell due to urea splitting bacterial infection. Patients with diabetes Ketoacidosis produce a urine that may have a sweet or fruity odour while liver disorders and other metabolic disorders cause a musty smelling urine.

Colour of a urine sample varies with its concentration and is in the range from colourless to deep yellow. Urine colours other than this (such as orange or red) indicate metabolic disorders.

Urine sample should be cleanly collected midstream and collected in a clean sterile container. It is preferable that urine sample is tested when still fresh since standing urine is susceptible to change in nature.

Chemical tests that can be performed using a urine sample include pH, protein, glucose, ketones, blood, bilirubin, nitrites, etc.

pH of the urine is determined by using pH dipsticks which are pre-treated with reagents which undergo specific reactions upon addition of protein to them and change colour accordingly. Neutral pH is the normal urine pH. However, in cases of disorders such as diabetic ketoacidosis, pH can be low while urinary tract infection leads to an increased urine pH.

In case a spillage of urine sample occurs, one should sweep up the spilled liquid using mask and protective gear, as needed. One the sweeping is done; the collected waste should be placed in a yellow bin.  

 

Methods

To establish a control sample, a trial run was done of all the tests.

Test 1: Colour, Odour, Clarity

20 mL of control urine was measured out using a 50 mL graduated cylinder. The control sample was then placed inside a beaker. After careful observation of the control sample, colour, odour and clarity data were recorded in the table.

Test 2: Protein

2 urine samples of 10 mL each in 2 test tubes were prepared with the help of graduated cylinder. One test tube was heated in a hot water bath to a temperature of 70°C and the other was left at the room temperature. Test tube 1 was removed from the hot water bath after a few minutes and the results were compared and recorded for the two test tubes.

Test 3: pH

A drop of the urine sample was placed on a piece of universal indicator paper using a medicine dropper. After 30 seconds, the pH value was determined by comparing the colour of the paper against the colour chart. The observations were recorded.

Test 4: Glucose

1 glucose test strip was dipped into the urine sample (unheated) and immediately taken out. After a wait of 10 seconds, the colour was matched with colour chart. The observations were recorded.  

 

Materials

  1. urine samples of the suspects
  2. 50 mL graduated cylinder
  3. 100 ml beaker
  4. 1 test tube rack
  5. 5 test tubes
  6. hot water bath
  7. thermometer
  8. 1 dropper
  9. universal indicator paper with colour charts
  10. glucose test strips with colour charts

Observations

Table 1: Result of urinalysis of 4 suspects, the sample and control

Tests

Control Tests

Crime Scene

Suspect 1

Suspect 2

Suspect 3

Suspect 4

Colour/odour

Dark Yellow

Yellow

Light Yellow

Light Yellow

Dark Yellow

Yellow

Clarity

Cloudy

Clear

Clear

Clear

Cloudy

Clear

Protein

Same

Same

Same

Same

Same

Same

pH

6

6

4

7

6

6

Glucose

0.5

0.5

Negative

Negative

Negative

0.75

Bubble

Yes

No

No

No

Yes

No

Discussion

The results clearly indicate that the suspect 4 has committed the crime. This can be said with decent surety because the characteristics of the suspect 4’s urine sample are quite similar to that of the crime scene sample. Both the samples had glucose in their urine, there was observed a presence of protein in both the samples and the same pH value was recorded in both the samples which signifies that there is a high chance that suspect 4 is the criminal.

It is also suspected that the suspect 4 might have diabetes due to the presence of significant amount of glucose in his urine sample.

Fairly odourless, colourless, clear and a neutral pH are the characteristic indicators of a healthy urine sample. However, different values for all these tests in different suspects show that they all suffer from one or the other metabolic condition which deviates their urine from normal condition.

For example, a pH of 4 in suspect 1 shows that the suspect suffers from a disease that is decreasing the pH of suspect’s urine to a great extent such as acidosis. Similarly, pH 7 in suspect 2 shows the alkalinity of the pH which might be due to early stages of an alkalinity producing disease such as urinary tract infection.

However, to be a 100% sure about the identity of the criminal, it is advisable that DNA analysis and blood tests are done. DNA profiling can help establish the identity of criminal with a high surety level however, it is very difficult to extract DNA from a urine sample due to high level of dilution and high chances of contamination.

Urinalysis is also applied in case of recent drug use detection. Though effective, testing foe drug presence in urine does not ensure that all instances of drug use will be identified. Also, urinalysis cannot determine the time of drug use or the amount in which drug was consumed (MacPherson, 2001). Contamination as well as dilution of urine sample might lead to misleading results and should be avoided.

Further, drug molecules of small size are easily excreted through the ureter after glomerular filtration. However, Plasma protein bund drugs and large drugs like heparin are not so easily excreted or filtered by glomerular apparatus (Rolfe, 2005).

The condition wherein the part of kidney responsible for blood filtration is damaged is known as glomerulonephritis. It is also known as Nephritis or Nephrotic Syndrome. This part of kidney is known as Glomeruli. Here the kidney is damaged so that it can no longer get rid of waste or excess fluid. Prolonged and untreated nephritis may lead to renal failure.

A number of symptoms of nephritis include infrequent urination, blood in urine (haematuria), protein in urine (proteinuria), oedema, etc.

There are two types of glomerulonephritis – Acute and Chronic. While the acute glomerulonephritis is caused by infections such as strep throat, the actual causes of chronic glomerulonephritis are still unknown.

The disease affects the kidney’s ability to filter blood cells and protein from blood. It can lead to high blood pressure because it reduces kidney function and may influence the way kidney handles sodium. It can be detected by its sign and symptoms usually. However, at times, a kidney biopsy might be necessary.

Concluding, there is a high chance that suspect 4 is the actual criminal.  Based on table 4, the similarities between the urine sample at crime scene and suspect 4 are quite high. Both the urine samples are yellow in colour, both are clear in appearance, and have a pH value of 7 which means the urine is neutral. Glucose level for both the urines is the same as well where the result is 0.75 which means this criminal might have a diabetes mellitus. In addition, Suspect 1, 2 and 3 have a different result from the crime scene which also proves that they did not commit the crime. Lastly, the error from this investigation is while testing presence of protein in the urine. 

 

References

  1. Trent, C. E., Gerards, S., Gibbons, K., McCallum, S., Noble, R., Parrington, J., et al. (2011). Biology 12. Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson.
  2. Chakraborty, S. (2013). Urinalysis in clinical practice (The Association of Physicians of India). India: Jaypee brothers medical publishers. 
  3. Hindmarch, I., ElSohly, M., Gambles J., & Salamone, S. (2001). Forensic urinalysis of drug use in cases of allegated sexual assaults. Journal of Clinical Forensic Medicine, 8(4), 197-205.
  4. MacPherson, P. (2001). ‘Random Urinalysis Program: Policy, practice, and research results’, Forum on Corrections Research Focusing on Alcohol and Drugs, 13(3), 54-57.
  5. Vorvick, L. J. (2015). Urinalysis. 
  6. The forensics Library. (n.d.). DNA Analysis. 
  7. Rolfe, V. (2005). RLO: The Kidneys and Drug Excretion..
  8. Kivi, R. (n.d.), what causes abnormal urine odor? 5 possible conditions.
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