Diagnosing hematuria in patients who don't urinate blood but have red blood cells in their urine can be challenging.
Asymptomatic microscopic hematuria is common but it can signal cancer in the genitourinary system. Routine urinalysis for screening of genitourinary cancer isn't recommended by any major health group but patients who undergo urinalysis for a variety of other reasons are often found to have microscopic hematuria, which prompts further evaluation.
A new article published by JAMA Internal Medicine explores the cost-effectiveness of four initial diagnostic protocols for these patients.
The combination of cystoscopy and renal ultrasound was the most cost-effective with an incremental cost of $53,810 per cancer detected, according to the results.
"The use of ultrasound in lieu of CT as the first-line diagnostic strategy will reduce the cost, morbidity and national expenditures associated with evaluation of AMH [asymptomatic microscopic hematuria]. Clinicians and policy makers should consider changing future guidelines in accordance with this finding," the article concludes.