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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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Summary of Abnormal Crystals

The characteristics of the more common types of abnormal crystals are summarized in the table below.




TyrosineColorless–yellowLiver disease (rare)
CystineColorlessCystine metabolism
CholesterolColorlessRenal tubular disease
BilirubinGold-orangeIncreased bilirubin

High doses of ampicillin, sulfonamide drugs, or other drugs may also result in urine crystal formation. It is important to check the patient's current medications when unusual crystals are found in the urine specimen.