Leukocytes in Urine (No Nitrates)


What do leukocytes in urine no nitrates indicate? In case you have been screened by an urologist and told you that you have leukocytes in urine no nitrates, you may want to know what this means. The presence of leukocytes within urine may be normal but when there is excess of these, it may indicate a disease or damage in body such as urinary tract infection.

Leukocytes are simply white blood cells and form a crucial part of body’s immune system. They help defend the body from foreign substances and infectious diseases. The urinary system is made up of bladder, kidneys, ureters, and urethra. In case a urinalysis test detects leukocytes in your urine but no nitrates, it indicates that there is an infection of the urinary tract.

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A positive test for nitrates alone within urine may indicate urinate tract infections, and the cause is likely to be a gram-negative organism such as Escherichia coli. Bacterial infections within the urinary tract will make an enzyme, which tries to change the urinary nitrates into nitrites. When you have leukocytes in urine but no nitrates, it may also indicate a urinary tract infection.

Tests  Interpretation


Having leukocytes in urine most often indicates that you have a bacterial infection. In normal circumstances, small amounts of leukocytes are found in urine. This is because leukocytes from old and damaged cells tend to be expelled through urine. A urinalysis is needed to diagnose the leukocyte levels in urine.

When excess, the level of leukocytes in urine may affect organs such as the bladder and kidneys. A patient may provide sample of urine for laboratory tests to examine microscopic, visual, and chemical aspects. There are test kits that can be used at home to conduct tests for protein, nitrates, and white blood cells in urine.

In labs, leukocytes are detected by examining them under microscope. They may also be detected by using a chemical dip stick test that shows presence of enzyme esterase that is released by white blood cells.


Causes of leukocytes in urine

leukocytes in urine


The presence of leukocytes in urine may be due to kidney infections. When you have a condition like pyelonephritis, it results in increased white blood cells within urine. Pyelonephritis is an infection that affects the urinary tract and may spread to kidneys. People with weak immune system and those who use urinary catheter for extended period of time are likely to have kidney infections.

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Another cause of leukocytes in urine is bladder infections or cystitis. When you have inflammation of UT or urinary tract, it leads to excess secretion of white blood cells or leukocytes.

Having blockage of urinary tract may also lead to hematuria or blood in urine. Blockage of the urinary system may occur due to pelvis tumor, trauma, bladder stones, kidney stones, prostate hypertrophy, or presence of unwanted foreign bodies in urinary tract.

It is quite common to have protein and leukocytes in urine among pregnant women. When pregnant, a woman is likely to have higher amounts of white blood cells in urine. There may be protein contamination occurring from vagina.

Sexual intercourse may also cause leukocytes in patients’ urine. Bacteria may be spread to urethra where they cause an infection. Bacterial infections may occur when people hold their urine for too long. The overstretching of bladder makes it weak and unable to empty itself effectively. There may occur leftovers of urine, which could result in bacterial infection.




A person showing leukocytes in urine will tend to show symptoms such as cloudy or foul urine smell. A person may also experience painful sensation when they urinate. At times, they may pass urine frequently than normal. Other symptoms may include kidney inflammation, fever, shivering, and blood in urine.


Treatment of leukocytes in urine

The treatment of increased amount of leukocytes in urine may depend on the underlying cause. When an infection is causing the increased white blood cells in urine, antibiotics may be administered.

Proper hygiene is needed to prevent infections. People need to change their undergarments as well as towels on daily basis. The towels and undergarments should also be dipped in disinfectants and washed properly to kill microbes that might cause an infection.

In case you have an infection, you may want to avoid doing sex until it clears or is treated. Keep your hands from the genital area to avoid spread of bacteria. It is important that people consider taking foods that boost the immune system such as vitamin C and B. A strong immune system helps fight infections in body.

Eating foods and fruits such as cranberries may provide a lining in urinary tract which prevents multiplication of bacteria. Also, drinking a concoction of water and baking soda helps alter the pH level in body and the urinary system. This in turn helps expel bacteria. A doctor will offer appropriate treatment after establishing what might be causing excess leukocytes in your urine

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