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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.

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White Blood Cells (WBCs)

Urine sediment may also contain WBCs. Most of the WBCs in urine are segmented neutrophils. Since it is possible that lymphocytes, monocytes, and/or eosinophils may be present, the cells in urine can be stained if it is necessary to differentiate them. The segmented neutrophils indicated by the blue arrows show distinct nuclear segmentation.

When viewing urinary sediment under the microscope, the fine focus adjustment must be used to identify WBCs.
WBCs swell in dilute alkaline urine and the cytoplasmic granules exhibit brownian movement resulting in "glitter cells." These cells lyse rapidly. "Glitter cells" are most easily seen when viewed under phase-contrast microscopy.