Objective: To explore how laboratories in the United States (U.S.) report red blood cell per high powered field (RBC/HPF) counts on urinalysis and to evaluate whether this methodology permits effective risk stratification in accordance with the 2020 AUA/SUFU microhematuria guidelines. Materials and Methods: Reporting methods for RBC/HPF counts (ranges, or actual counts) were collected by querying urologists in U.S. academic medical institutions or commercial laboratories. We explore whether (1) the reporting schemes were concordant with the risk strata in the new microhematuria guideline (3-10 [low risk], 11-25 [intermediate risk], and more than 25 [high risk]), and (2) evaluate the potential for risk group misclassification based on reporting methodology. Results: Data were available for 141 laboratories. Seventy-two (51%) use RBC/HPF ranges, while the remainder use actual counts (or counts to a threshold). Sixty (42%) report range cutoffs which are not concordant with the microhematuria guidelines risk groups. Furthermore, fifty-six (40%) do not include the cutoff of 25 RBC/HPF which could potentially misclassify intermediate and high risk groups. Finally, sixteen (11%) do not include the cut-off of 3 RBC/HPF that defines the presence of microhematuria. Conclusion: A significant number of laboratories report RBC/HPF counts in ranges that differ from thresholds in the 2020 AUA/SUFU guideline. The implication is potential misclassification of microhematuria both at minimum threshold diagnosis (3 RBC/HPF), and additionally between intermediate and high risk groups. Standardization of reporting schemes to actual RBC/HPF counts may allow improved adherence to guidelines while providing data for future guideline development.
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