The Urinary Sediment View Under Phase Contrast Microscope

The phase-contrast microscopy technique has got many applications in research as well as the medical laboratories. One of its applications is the study of urinary sediment. This microscopy technique was discovered by Zernike which has solved many complex problems.  It saves a lot of time for fellow researchers and scientists.  The upright and inverted microscope can also use the technique for viewing the microscopic creatures and urinary sediments. It is easy to use and set in the laboratory for observational studies. Phase contrast microscopy allows its users to recognize cells, casts, and other structures of biological specimens with accuracy and precision.  The study of urinary sediments can also be done with the phase-contrast microscopy technique.

For the study of urinary sediments,  brightfield microscopy can also be used with stained and unstained biological specimens. For this process, the nephrologist has to be trained and efficient. In this case, phase contrast microscopy can be used which takes less time and is easy to handle, even in the absence of efficient lab technicians. 

The Urinary Sediments Study


As far as the urinary sediments study or examination is concerned, it is getting lost over time. Many nephrologists are losing the skill of urinary sediments.  It is due to the widespread prevalence of automated urine technology and centralized laboratory techniques.  But despite this,  many nephrologists are still searching for tests that give accurate urinary study results. In this case, the microscopic examination of the spun urine sediment is performed for diagnosis and managing several conditions that affect the kidneys of infected people.  In the diagnosis of kidney experiments, the urinary sediments study is used.  It is for making observational studies on the patient’s biological samples. Urinary sediment is an important adjunctive test for evaluation for acute chronic kidney diseases.  

The patient’s history, as well as examination, is all studied with urinary sediments study.  Microscopes play a very crucial role for these urinary sediments’ study as all the particular structures are visible under them.  All types of serum tests,  genitourinary imaging, and dipstick urinalysis are important for kidney analysis. Urine sediment is especially used for assessing patients for acute kidney injury (AJI)  as well as other proteinuria, hematuria, and leukocyturia diseases.  These all are analyzed by good microscopic techniques and dipstick urinalysis.  However, simple and traditional microscopes can also be used in the process.  An inverted phase contrast microscope is used extensively in the process of urine sediments process or study.

For the proper and proficient microscopic examination of urinary sediments, the trinocular compound microscope is used with the phase contrast techniques. The results produced by such microscopic examination are reliable and good for assessing the conditions of patients. This reliability of results is absent in the automated methods. So, the microscopic examination is said to be the most relevant.  The microscopic  examination of urinary sediments  assess the following :

  • Accurate  observations of urinary cells’ morphology
  • Identification of cellular and non-cellular casts  in the urinary samples
  • Recognition  of various endogenous and drug-related crystals

All this enables the rapid diagnosis of all types of acute and chronic kidney disease.  Based on the information gained in the biological samples, the microscopic examination is done.  Phase contrast microscopy does play a great role in the above points for urinary sediments study.  The urine sediments provide a window for the infected kidneys to check the infections. With the study, the researchers and scientists can observe the patient’s kidney for acute and chronic disorders.

The Automated Urinalysis And Microscopic – Manual Urinalysis

In recent times, it is seen that fully automated urinalysis is done in the laboratory for urine sediments study.  The screening of urine samples is the third most common analysis done in the laboratory for examination of a patient’s body.  All clinical laboratories use the techniques for urine analysis.

But manual microscopic examination is better than the automated urine analysis study.  Though the use of manual examination is fewer in the clinical labs, despite its reliant results. For the manual examination of urine sediments study,  a phase contrast microscope is used.   The principle of phase contrast microscope is used in the process which mediates the interfered light over the sample.  Here, the diffraction and reflection properties of light are used to generate the urinary sediments images.

In the case of automated microscopic examination, the cost is a little high as the machines are a little high.  To minimize the cost, phase contrast microscopes are used. In the case of an automated urinalysis system, the images of sediment urine are generated through computer and technician-based analysis. While in the manual microscopic methods,  the images are generated through an objective lens.  All images generated by the phase contrast microscope are highly contrasted. The high contrasted images are good for observing the granules of urinary sediments under the microscope.  The manual examination gives out the most reliable results than the automated examination of urinary sediments. In the case of laborers, the automated examination systems, there are fewer requirements, because of its automated property. While the manual examination requires the labor for examining urinary sediments.  Skilled laborers or technicians are required for the performance of manual examination of urinary sediments.

From the above points, it is clear that manual microscopic examination with phase contrast microscopy is used instead of automated systems.  The manual microscopic techniques give out the reliable results.

Urine Analysis With Phase Contrast Microscopy

It is mandatory to perform manual urine microscopy in a standardized fashion to yield reliable results.  These results are interpreted for clinical patient care and used for the study settings in the urine analysis methods. Fresh urine samples should be examined after spontaneous voiding in the biological samples. Catheters are used for collecting urine samples from the patient’s urinary bladder to avoid old urine interference.  In the biological specimens, the cell and casts degradation should be avoided and urine examination is done within  1 or 2 hours of collection or quickly refrigerated to allow the viewing of the sample.   In the study, the sample should be inspected for color, turbidity, and clarity. This is inspected before the centrifugation of the urinary sediments.  In the study of urinary sediments, all abnormal urine colors point to the endogenous and exogenous possess of the urine. The abnormal colors indicate diseases like pigmenturia, etc.

In the urine analysis, the 10 millimeters of urine are centrifuged for at least 5 minutes with at least 1,500 rpm speed.  Here, centrifugation is helpful to maximize the yield of urinary sediments.  The sediment is then examined at low and high power using the phase contrast microscopy technique. The samples are examined under the phase contrast microscope by adjusting the powers over the 10 fields. Here, the dipstick findings play an important role in the urinary sediments.

By repeating  all the steps of urinary sediments techniques using the phase contrast microscope, the images of urinary sediments are obtained.   High contrasted images give out a clear look into the urine analysis.  Some microscopes are also used in cell culture and tissue culture samples.  So, the microscope is called a cell culture microscope, culture microscope, and tissue culture microscope.


Urine sediment analysis is done for examining the urine cultures in the infected persons. It is examined under the phase contrast microscopy technique for giving out the best results.  The best trinocular microscope uses phase contrast microscopy technology for better imaging of biological samples.

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