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Ann Lab Med. 2020 May;40(3):238-244. English. Original Article.
Kwon YE , Oh DJ , Kim MJ , Choi HM .
Department of Internal Medicine, Myongji Hospital, Hanyang University College of Medicine, Goyang, Korea.
Department of Laboratory Medicine, Myongji Hospital, Hanyang University College of Medicine, Goyang, Korea.


Pyuria seems to be common in chronic kidney disease (CKD), irrespective of urinary tract infection (UTI). It has been hypothesized that sterile pyuria occurs in CKD because of chronic renal parenchymal inflammation. However, there are limited data on whether CKD increases the rate of pyuria or how pyuria in CKD should be interpreted. We investigated the prevalence and characteristics of asymptomatic pyuria (ASP) in CKD via urinary white blood cell (WBC) analysis.


Urine examination was performed for all stable hemodialysis (HD) and non-dialysis CKD patients of the outpatient clinic (total N=298). Patients with infection symptoms or recent history of antibiotic use were excluded. Urine culture and WBC analysis were performed when urinalysis revealed pyuria.


The prevalence of ASP was 30.5% (24.1% in non-dialysis CKD and 51.4% in HD patients). Over 70% of the pyuria cases were sterile. The majority of urinary WBCs were neutrophils, even in sterile pyuria. However, the percentage of neutrophils was significantly lower in sterile pyuria. In multivariate logistic regression analysis, the degree of pyuria, percentage of neutrophils, and presence of urinary nitrites remained independently associated with sterile pyuria.


The prevalence of ASP was higher in CKD patients and increased according to CKD stage. Most ASP in CKD was sterile. Ascertaining the number and distribution of urinary WBCs may be helpful for interpreting ASP in CKD.

Copyright © 2019. Korean Association of Medical Journal Editors.