The Relevance of the Urine Sediment Exam in Diagnosing Kidney Diseases

Last updated: 01-12-2019

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The Relevance of the Urine Sediment Exam in Diagnosing Kidney Diseases

AJKD’s freely available Core Curricula aim to give nephrology trainees a strong knowledge base in core topics. The first Core Curriculum topic for 2019 is the examination of the urine sediment by Corey Cavanaugh and Mark Perazella. AJKDSocial Media Editor, Timothy Yau (AJKDBlog), interviewed Dr. Cavanaugh (CC) to highlight some of the important teaching points in this Core Curriculum.

AJKDBlog: Let’s start with the tough question: Many residents and nephrology fellows don’t perform independent examination of urine sediment, either because of time constraints, lack of education, or because automated tools may be sufficient. Why do you think it’s important to continue to emphasizing spinning urine as a core skill for a nephrologist?

CC: For now, urine sediment is still the most accurate, timely, and inexpensive biomarker we have for AKI and other forms of kidney disease. Many trainees will start the AKI work-up by calculating the fractional excretion of sodium (FENa) and maybe give a bolus or continuous infusion of intravenous fluids. As FENA can be


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