Steps in Preparing a Concentrated Urine Sediment

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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course The Urine Microscopic: Microscopic Analysis of Urine Sediment. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

Learn more about The Urine Microscopic: Microscopic Analysis of Urine Sediment (online CE course)
Steps in Preparing a Concentrated Urine Sediment

If a glass slide and coverslip are used to exam the urine sediment, these procedures should be followed:

  • Mix urine specimen well, and transfer a standardized volume into a conical centrifuge tube. Use the volume that is stated in your laboratory's procedure.
  • Centrifuge at the speed and spin time specified in your laboratory's procedure.
  • Decant the sample to a standard volume (e.g., 0.5 or 1.0 mL) and resuspend the sediment in this volume.
  • Pipette a specified amount of sediment onto the slide and put the coverslip in place.
    • Ensure that the specimen fills the area under the coverslip without overflowing it.
    • Ensure that there are no bubbles in the specimen under the coverslip.
    • Upon examination, if cellular elements are not evenly distributed, a new suspension should be prepared.
Microscope slides that are manufactured specifically for microscopic examination of sediment samples are available from several manufacturers. The slides are divided into standardized chambers to regulate the amount of urine sediment that is loaded for viewing. These methods reduce reporting differences among testing personnel by ensuring that the same volume of sediment is consistently viewed and the sediment is viewed in a single plane.