Epithelial cells

Why Are There Epithelial Cells in My Urine?

Epithelial cells line various surfaces of the body, including the skin, blood vessels, organs, and urinary tract. Healthy urine contains a small number of epithelial cells. Testing for epithelial cells can help determine if a person has an infection, kidney disease, or other medical condition. This article explores how and why urine is tested for epithelial cells. It also discusses what the results mean and what conditions cause an increase in epithelial cells. Epithelial cells are cells on the surfaces of the body that act as a protective barrier. They stop viruses getting inside the body. It is natural for some of these cells to occur in urine. However, too many epithelial cells in the urine usually indicate an underlying health condition. The test for epithelial cells in urine is part of a urinalysis — a test that measures the levels of different substances in urine. A doctor may order this test if a person comes to them with symptoms of a urinary infection or kidney disorder, such as:. Before the test, a doctor will give a person a container to collect their urine in and explain how to take the sample. The person uses the pad to clean their genitals before urinating in a sterilized container. They allow a small amount of urine to flow and then collect the sample midstream. It is crucial that they do not touch the inside of the specimen cup with their genitals or hands. Unless the person has other symptoms that point to a clear cause, the doctor will likely recommend further tests before making a diagnosis. The next section of this article explores some medical conditions associated with high levels of epithelial cells in the urine. An increased amount of epithelial cells in the urine may indicate one of the following conditions:. There are three types of urinary tract infection UTI. They each affect a different part of the urinary tract:. Doctors typically prescribe antibiotics or antiviral medication to treat UTIs. Changing hormone levels or taking antibiotics may change the balance of bacteria in the vagina. As a result, yeast may grow more than usual and lead to a yeast infection. There is no cure for kidney disease, but the following treatments may help a person manage their symptoms:. Treatment for liver disease depends on the cause. If the disease is caused by excess alcohol consumption, a doctor will help a person seek support to stop drinking. Bladder cancer occurs when abnormal tissue grows in the bladder lining. It is the fourth most common cancer in men in the United States. Bladder cancer may cause an increased amount of epithelial cells in urine. However, it is important to remember that this alone does not indicate cancer. There are many surgical and non-surgical treatments available for bladder cancer.

What are Epithelial Cells?

Epithelial cells are a type of cell that lines the surfaces of your body. They are found on your skin, blood vessels, urinary tract, and organs. An epithelial cells in urine test looks at urine under a microscope to see if the number of your epithelial cells is in the normal range. It's normal to have a small amount of epithelial cells in your urine. A large amount may indicate an infection, kidney disease, or other serious medical condition. Other names: microscopic urine analysis, microscopic examination of urine, urine test, urine analysis, UA. An epithelial cells in urine test is a part of a urinalysisa test that measures different substances in your urine. A urinalysis may include a visual examination of your urine sample, tests for certain chemicals, and an examination of urine cells under a microscope. An epithelial cells in urine test is part of a microscopic exam of urine. Your health care provider may have ordered an epithelial cells in urine test as part of your regular checkup or if your visual or chemical urine tests showed abnormal results. You may also need this test if you have symptoms of a urinary or kidney disorder. These symptoms may include:. Your health care provider will need to collect a sample of your urine. During your office visit, you will receive a container to collect the urine and special instructions to make sure that the sample is sterile. These instructions are often called the "clean catch method. You don't need any special preparations for the test. If your health care provider has ordered other urine or blood tests, you may need to fast not eat or drink for several hours before the test. Your health care provider will let you know if there are any special instructions to follow. Results are often reported as an approximate amount, such as "few," moderate," or "many" cells. If your results are not in the normal range, it doesn't necessarily mean that you have a medical condition that requires treatment. You may need more tests before you can get a diagnosis. To learn what your results mean, talk to your health care provider. Learn more about laboratory tests, references ranges, and understanding results.

Epithelial Cells in Urine

Epithelial cells are cells that come from surfaces of your body, such as your skin, blood vessels, urinary tract, or organs. They serve as a barrier between the inside and outside of your body, and protect it from viruses. A small number of epithelial cells in your urine is normal. A large number may be a sign of infection, kidney diseaseor another serious medical condition. For that reason, your doctor may order a urine test or urinalysis to view your urine under a microscope. Epithelial cells differ by size, shape, and appearance. There are three types of epithelial cells that can be found in your urine, depending on their origin:. Epithelial cells naturally slough off from your body. Having a moderate number or many cells may indicate:. The type of epithelial cells in the urine may also signal certain conditions. This prevents contaminants from your skin, like epithelial cells, from showing up in your sample. Your doctor can help you understand your test results and whether you have a medical condition requiring treatment. To find a cause, the doctor may also order further testing. Treatment will depend on the cause of the abnormal number of epithelial cells. Most UTIs are bacterial and can be treated with an antibiotic. Drinking more water can also speed healing. For viral UTIs, doctors may prescribe medication called antivirals. Treatment for kidney disease means managing the underlying cause of the disease, including blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels. Healthy dietary and lifestyle changes are also important. Keeping hydrated is one of the easiest way to prevent urinary infections and kidney disease. Drinking cranberry juice or eating cranberries may help lower the risk of developing UTIs. Cranberries contain a chemical that may guard against bacteria attaching to the lining of your bladder. It may be the result of a contaminated sample. Epithelial cells may also reveal underlying conditions, such as a UTI or kidney disorder.


Epithelial tissues line the outer surfaces of organs and blood vessels throughout the body, as well as the inner surfaces of cavities in many internal organs. An example is the epidermisthe outermost layer of the skin. There are three principal shapes of epithelial cell: squamous, columnar, and cuboidal. These can be arranged in a single layer of cells as simple epithelium, either squamous, columnar, or cuboidal, or in layers of two or more cells deep as stratified layeredor compoundeither squamous, columnar or cuboidal. In some tissues, a layer of columnar cells may appear to be stratified due to the placement of the nuclei. This sort of tissue is called pseudostratified. All glands are made up of epithelial cells. Functions of epithelial cells include secretionselective absorptionprotection, transcellular transportand sensing. Epithelial layers contain no blood vessels, so they must receive nourishment via diffusion of substances from the underlying connective tissue, through the basement membrane. In general, epithelial tissues are classified by the number of their layers and by the shape and function of the cells. The three principal shapes associated with epithelial cells are squamous, cuboidal, and columnar. By layer, epithelium is classed as either simple epithelium, only one cell thick unilayeredor stratified epithelium having two or more cells in thickness, or multi-layered — as stratified squamous epitheliumstratified cuboidal epitheliumand stratified columnar epithelium[6] [7] and both types of layering can be made up of any of the cell shapes. This kind of epithelium is therefore described as pseudostratified columnar epithelium. Transitional epithelium has cells that can change from squamous to cuboidal, depending on the amount of tension on the epithelium. Simple epithelium is a single layer of cells with every cell in direct contact with the basement membrane that separates it from the underlying connective tissue. In general, it is found where absorption and filtration occur. The thinness of the epithelial barrier facilitates these processes. In general, simple epithelial tissues are classified by the shape of their cells. The four major classes of simple epithelium are 1 simple squamous, 2 simple cuboidal, 3 simple columnar, and 4 pseudostratified. Stratified epithelium differs from simple epithelium in that it is multilayered. It is therefore found where body linings have to withstand mechanical or chemical insult such that layers can be abraded and lost without exposing subepithelial layers. Cells flatten as the layers become more apical, though in their most basal layers, the cells can be squamous, cuboidal, or columnar. Stratified epithelia of columnar, cuboidal, or squamous type can have the following specializations: [10]. Epithelial tissue is scutoid shaped, tightly packed and form a continuous sheet. It has almost no intercellular spaces. All epithelia is usually separated from underlying tissues by an extracellular fibrous basement membrane. The lining of the mouth, lung alveoli and kidney tubules are all made of epithelial tissue.

epithelial cell

Molecule: a chemical structure that has two or more atoms held together by a chemical bond. Water is a molecule of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom H2O Receptor: a molecule on the surface of a cell that responds to specific molecules and receives chemical signals sent by other cells. Secrete: to release any substance, molecule, or chemical from a gland or cell in the body. Take a quick look at the skin on your hands. Even if you think your skin is one smooth surface, it is actually made of millions of epithelial cells that are tightly packed next to each other. Epithelial cells also line the inside of your throat, intestines, blood vessels, and all your organs. They are a barrier between the inside and outside of your body and are often the first place that is attacked by viruses as they begin their invasion deeper into the body. Epithelial cells are the safety shields of the body. Take another look at your hand. It is covered with epithelial cells that protect your body by being a barrier between your internal cells and the dirt and microbes in the environment. They also are able to stretch so you can move your fingers and arms into many positions. You can also thank your epithelial cells for making the sweat that cools you down when you're exercising or when it's hot outside. To learn more about your skin and the important ways it works for you every day, listen to this podcast. Other epithelial cells help you experience your environment by having special sensors, called receptors, that collect signals. When you taste a favorite food or smell a flower, the receptors in these cells send the signal to your brain so you can enjoy every bite and sweet smell. Once you swallow that bite of food, it travels down a path lined with epithelial cells. When it gets to your intestines, another set of epithelial cells absorbs and transports nutrients from the foods you eat and helps process it for energy your body can use. Converting food energy to energy your body can use is the work of molecules called enzymes. Once again, it is epithelial cells that make and secrete the enzymes in your stomach. Epithelial cells also secrete hormones into your blood vessels, mucus in your nose, and the breast milk which mothers feed their young. If you take a close look at epithelial cells using a microscope, you will see them tightly packed together. This helps make a protective barrier for our bodies. There are also some special door-like connections between each epithelial cell called gap junctions.

Epithelium – Histology - Lecturio

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