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Dipstick urinanalysis (specific gravity)

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

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Specific Gravity:

  • Urine specific gravity (SG) shows the concentration of urine and represents the hydration status of the patient. Normal specific gravity varies from 1.001 to 1.035

    • increased SG
      • causes include:
      • conditions causing dehydration
        • usefulness of SG in identifying dehydration in infants has been brought into question (2)
      • glycosuria
      • renal artery stenosis
      • heart failure (secondary to decreased blood flow to the kidneys)
      • inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion
      • proteinuria

    • some dipsticks give falsely high readings in the presence of dextran solutions and IV radiopaque dyes
      • however this false positive varies with different dipsticks so check the manufacturer's leaflet

    • decreased SG
      • causes include:
        • excessive fluid intake
        • renal failure
        • pyelonephritis
        • diabetes insipidus
        • alkaline urine (eg, a high-citrate diet) may cause false low readings for SG


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