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Urine Leukocyte Esterase

Urine leukocyte esterase is a type of diagnostic laboratory examination used to analyze a patient’s urine to detect white blood cells and traces of other compounds signifying the presence of an infection. The test is otherwise known as the LE test or leukocyte esterase test, named appropriately so because the examination involves the identification of a compound in urine known as esterase, an enzyme specifically produced by white blood cells of the immune system.

The detection of esterase in a sample of a patient’s urine is considered to be a positive test result and is thus indicative of an underlying infection in the system, while a negative test results is considered to be normal. The test is especially made use of in conjunction with a urinary nitrite test to diagnose cases of urinary tract infections. Samples deemed to have positive results are then utilized to culture the pathogenic agent which may be present in the urine so treatment appropriate for the causative element may be developed. The LE test is also used for the diagnosis of infections in the form of gonorrhea or amniotic fluid infections. The examination takes a total time of around 24 to 48 hours for the test to undergo complete analysis and yield accurate results.

Additional factors taken into consideration before the completion of the procedure include obtaining a history of any previous infections the client may have that have already been identified. Trichomonas infections for instance are to be taken note of as such a type of infection may affect the results of the LE test and lead to false positive results. The test is also performed while ensuring that the sample is free from vaginal secretions such as menstrual blood or mucus discharges in the case of female patients, as these may also influence the results.

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