Urinary Sediment
Microscopic Analysis


Online since 1997

About this website

Urine analysis is one of the oldest laboratory tests. It allows the collection of a large amount of essential clinical information necessary for screening, diagnosis, monitoring and prognostic of a great deal of different pathologies. Either by chemical analysis, sediment identification or detection of excreted metabolites, the clinical usefulness of urinalysis resides in identification of renal diseases, pathologies of urinary tract, malignancy or systemic illness like diabetes or hepatic disorders.

Urinalysis is divided in 3 main steps:

1) Visual inspection of physical properties
2) Chemical analysis (chemical strip)
3) Microscopic inspection of urinary sediment

Often used as first intention testing, visual inspection and chemical analysis are performed in laboratories as well as in physicians cabinets or hospital care units as Point Of Care Testing (POCT). Easily accessible and fast, those steps can be performed with minimal training. That being said, sediment microscopic analysis is quite different, as it requires proper training and advanced skills to realize accurate interpretations.     


This website was conceived and developed by M. Richard Dion, M.Sc., a retired teacher from the Medical laboratory technology department at Collège de Rosemont in Montreal. Over the years M. Dion has developed an interest and an exceptional expertise for urinalysis and specially for urinary sediments. Two clinical biochemist, Dr Nicolas Tétreault, Ph.D., DEPD, CSPQ and Dre Julie Amyot, Ph.D., DEPD, CSPQ, are now participating to the site content revision. Do not hesitate to contact them:


Microscopic analysis of urine is a task that requires particular skills.

Elements identification can be hard and tedious. In urinary microscopy, certainty is not the rule and the result represent an opinion. With that in mind, this website offers the possibility for students and lab technologist to update their knowledge of urinalysis and in particular, of urinary sediment.

While browsing this site, you will find different sections such as: obtaining and preparing urinary specimens, procedures for staining and pellets preservation, how to get rid of unwanted elements and contamination and a useful guide on microscopes. You will also find images of cellular elements, cylinders, crystals, microorganisms, artefacts and much more. Finally, an entire section is dedicated to relevant online references.

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The content of this site (text and images) is protected by copyrights. Any use, partial or total, without Ordre des Technologistes Médicaux du Québec (OPTMQ) consent is forbidden. The content can be use for educative purposes as long as it is complete, without modification and with the author’s name.


This website has to be in constant evolution and must offer new images and new clinical cases. Your contribution, by commenting or by providing material, will allow for the site to be up-to-date. Each image received will clearly be identified and no reproduction authorization will be given by the website administrators.

You can send us your contribution be email.