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January 10, 1966


Author Affiliations

From the Department of Medicine, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago.

JAMA. 1966;195(2):119. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03100020107027

From the days of the Babylonian physicians (4000 BC), analysis of urine has been regarded as an essential part of the examination of the patient.1 When properly performed, urinalysis may generate much useful, even critical, information. The recent introduction of simple, rapid, sensitive, and reliable chemical methods for detection of protein, glucose, and perhaps bacteria permits mass urinalysis in the screening of large populations for latent disease.2 A slight trace of protein or sugar in the urine may be the only clue to serious renal or systemic disease.3

The physician himself should examine the urine for any abnormalities, particularly in patients with suspect or overt renal disease. He must insist on adherence to common but much neglected principles in the collection of the specimen. The concentrated, first-morning specimen, if examined fresh, provides maximal opportunity for observation of formed elements, minimizing their lysis. Properly performed "catch" or midstream