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Laboratory examination of a urine sample for clinical information. Abnormal concentrations of substances normally found in urine or presence of those that are not may indicate a disorder. Colour, specific gravity, or volume changes may reveal a specific disease or injury. Significant findings include high glucose and acetone in diabetes mellitus; various nitrogen compounds, pigments, amino acids, and their metabolic products in disorders of the enzymes that act on them; uric acid in gout; and urea, albumins, and globulins in kidney disease. Hormones may be evidence of pregnancy or endocrine imbalance. Urinalysis can also detect poisons and drugs.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on urinalysis, visit Britannica.com.