Urinalysis & Body Fluids

I.     Course Prefix/Number: MLT 112

       Course Name: Urinalysis & Body Fluids

       Credits: 2 (1.5 lecture; 1.5 lab)

II.    Prerequisite

Admission to the MLT Program.

III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course presents a study of urine formation including function and diseases of the kidney. Through lecture and laboratory sessions the student will gain experience in the detection of physical, chemical and microscopic properties of urine in normal and abnormal states.  A discussion of miscellaneous fluid analysis, cerebrospinal fluid analysis, gastric analysis and fecal analysis are also included in this course.  This eight week course is offered in the fall semester only.

IV.   Learning Objectives

Upon successful completion of this course the student shall be able to:

  1. Summarize the anatomy and physiology of the urinary system, kidney, and nephron and the process involved in the formation of normal and abnormal urine.
  2. Apply the requirements of microscopic examination of urinary sediment including:
    1. Performing microscopic identification and enumeration of the organized sediment including RBCs, WBCs, casts, epithelial cells, bacteria and yeast cells.
    2. Identifying artifacts, fat globules, and normal crystals found in urinary sediment; describing the significance of those crystals that would be considered abnormal.
  3. Test for urinary chemical constituents (including specific gravity, pH, proteins, glucose, ketones, blood, nitrites, bacteria, bilirubin and urobilinogen) by dipstick methods, list the reagents used in this method, describe the principles of the chemical reactions involved, any timing and precautions involved in this method of testing, the sensitivity and specificity of the tests involved, the normal values of each test, and the interfering substances for each test.
  4. Identify back up testing methods for specific gravity, glucose, proteins, ketones, blood and bilirubin, the sensitivity and specificity of these tests, the principles, timing, precautions, and interpretations of these tests, and how and why these tests differ from the dipstick methods.
  5. Trace the origins of the substances being tested by the above methods; include the pathways by which these substances reached the urine and how these substances relate to the state of the patient’s health/disease state.
  6. Identify the terminology used pertaining to volume, color and turbidity in both normal and pathological urine formation.
  7. Perform the measurement of specific gravity by dipstick and refractometer methods; identify the effects of and corrections for temperature, protein, and glucose with the float method with 100% accuracy.
  8. Compare the clinical significance of and methods of testing, including reagents, principles, and procedures, normal and abnormal results for the following:
    1. urobilinogen/porphobilinogen
    2. porphyrins/coproporphyrins
    3. phenylketonuria
    4. alkaptonuria/homogentisic acid
    5. melanin/melanogen
    6. indicant
    7. 5‑hydroxyindole acetic acid
  9. Outline the parameters for an acceptable cerebrospinal fluid specimen; include separation of the specimen for different laboratories, the theory, normal values, and clinical applications of cerebrospinal fluid hematological tests.
  10. Summarize the procedure and normal values for sperm counts and sperm motility checks.
  11. Compare the principles, stimulation, procedures, reagents, significance of normal and abnormal values and terminology in gastric analysis by intubation and by the tubeless method.
  12. Compare transudates and exudates; include all parameters of identification.
  13. Differentiate the composition, routine and specialized test procedures, and associated pathologies of the following body fluids; synovial fluid, pleural, pericardial, peritoneal fluids, and amniotic fluid.
  14. Identify principles and procedures for routine fecal tests including: macroscopic, microscopic and qualitative chemical tests; include factors responsible for false positive and negative results.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at
www.oakton.edu/studentlife/student-handbook.pdf

VI.   Sequence of Topics

  1. Renal Function
    1. Renal Physiology
    2. Renal Blood Flow
    3. Glomerular Filtration
    4. Tubular Reabsorption
    5. Renal Concentration
    6. Tubular Secretion
  2. Urinalysis
    1. Urinary Composition
    2. Urine Volume
    3. Specimen Collection
      1. Preservation
      2. Changes in unpreserved specimen
    4. Types of Specimens
      1. Random
      2. First morning
      3. Fasting
      4. 2 Hour Postprandial
      5. 24 hr. (timed)
      6. Midstream clean catch
  3. Renal Function Tests
    1. Glomerular Filtration Tests
    2. Clearance Tests
    3. Tubular Reabsorption Tests
    4. Tubular Secretion & Renal Blood Flow Tests
    5. Acidity & Ammonia
    6. Renal Diseases
      1. Acute Glomerulnephritis
      2. Chronic Glomerulnephritis
      3. Nephrotic Syndrome
      4. Membranous Glomerulonephritis
      5. Focal Glomerulonephritis
      6. Pyelonephritis
      7. Renal Failure
  4. Physical Examination of the Urine
    1. Color
      1. Normal
      2. Abnormal
    2. Appearance
    3. Turbidity
    4. Specific Gravity
      1. Chemical Methods
      2. Refractometer Method
    5. Odor
    6. Clinical Correlations
  5. Chemical Examination of the Urine
    1. Reagent Strips
    2. Automation
    3. pH
    4. Protein
    5. Glucose
    6. Ketones
    7. Blood
    8. Bilirubin
    9. Urobilinogen
    10. Nitrite
    11. Specific Gravity
    12. Leukocytes
  6. Microscopic Examination of the Urine
    1. Methodology
      1. Stains
      2. Microscopy
    2. Constituents
      1. RBC's
      2. WBC's
      3. Epithelial Cells
      4. Casts
      5. Bacteria
      6. Yeast
      7. Crystals
      8. Other miscellaneous sediment
  7. QC in Urinalysis
    1. Specimen Handling
    2. Reagents
    3. Instrumentation & Equipment
  8. Special Urine Screening Tests
    1. Overflow vs Renal Disorders
    2. Amino Acid Disorders
      1. Phenylketonuria (PKU)
      2. Tyrosynuria
      3. Alkaptonuria
      4. Melanuria
      5. Maple Syrup Urine Disease
    3. Cystine Metabolism Disorders
    4. Porphyrin Disorders
    5. Mucopolysaccharide Disorders
  9. Cerebrospinal Fluid Examination
    1. Formation & Physiology
    2. Specimen Collection
    3. Physical Exam
    4. Cell Counts & Differential
    5. Chemical Analysis
      1. Protein
      2. Glucose
      3. Lactate
      4. LD
    6. Gram Stain
    7. Serologic Examination
  10. Seminal Fluid
    1. Specimen Collection
    2. Volume & Viscosity
    3. pH
    4. Sperm Count
    5. Motility
    6. Morphology
  11. Synovial Fluid
    1. Collection
    2. Physical Exam
    3. Cell Count & Differential
    4. Crystals
    5. Chemical Analysis
    6. Microbiological Exam
    7. Serologic Exam
  12. Serous Fluid
    1. Transudates vs Exudates
    2. Pleural Fluid
    3. Pericardial Fluid
    4. Peritoneal Fluid
  13. Other Body Fluids
    1. Amniotic Fluid
      1. Fetal Distress
      2. Fetal Maturity
    2. Sweat
    3. Gastric Analysis
      1. Physiology
      2. Specimen Collection
      3. Gastric Acidity
  14. Fecal Analysis
    1. Specimen Collection
    2. Physical Exam
    3. Cellular Exam
    4. Occult Blood
    5. Chemical Analysis

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Methods of presentation include lectures supplemented with films, video cassettes, kodachrome slides, and laboratory demonstrations.  Student laboratory practice sessions analyzing biological specimens are required to develop skill and accuracy.


Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

  1. Course is taught face-to-face, hybrid or online course.
  2. Reading assignments
  3. Writing assignments
  4. Computer Use
  5. Lab Practicals
  6. Class participation
  7. Complete all assigned Media Lab modules

Reading assignments from reference materials and texts will be required.

Attendance at additional open lab sessions (Mondays 12-3 pm) may be necessary to satisfactorily complete all laboratory assignments.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

  1. Student progress will be evaluated through: 1) Satisfactory completion of written tests covering both classroom theory and laboratory procedures. 2) The satisfactory completion of all laboratory procedures. 3) Attendance will be evaluated and used as part of the final course grade. 4) No special projects or term papers are accepted in lieu of the written tests, completion of the lab procedures, or active participation.
  2. The final grade will be based upon the total number of points earned on written exams, a cumulative lecture final, laboratory work, homework assignments, attendance and class participation.
  3. All study questions must be turned in to pass this course even if no points will be earned. Points will be deducted for incomplete/late assignments as follows:
    Incomplete (one answer missing) – 1 point
    Incomplete (more than two answers missing)  – 2 points
    Late (handed in next class session) – 1 point
    Late (handed in 2 classes later) – 2 points
    Late (handed in >2 classes later) – 4 points
  4. Your final grade will be calculated as follows:
    Exams 320 points
    Study Questions 40 points
    Final Lecture Exam 100 points
    Laboratory 140 points
    Total Points Possible  600 points
    Points Earned  Grade Equivalent
    552 – 600 A
    504 – 551 B
    456 – 503 C
    420 – 455 D
    Below 420 F
  5. A total of 140 points may be earned in laboratory work. All lab work must be completed to pass the course; any absences must be made up in open lab sessions.

    Point distribution for lab is as follows:

    Weekly lab exercises  60 points
    Lab Quiz 30 points
    Practical Exam 50 points

XI.   Other Course Information

Students must notify the instructor if they will be late or absent. Attendance and class participation are included in grading.  Points will be deducted for excessive absences and late arrivals to class as they disrupt class for your classmates.

Students must successfully complete both the lecture and laboratory components of the course (this means earning a 76% or above in each component).

No makeup quizzes or exams will be given unless the instructor agrees (to give the exam) prior to the class meeting.  Students will be permitted to make up only one exam.  The exam must be completed in a timely manner for full credit.  Instances where the exam is not completed before the next class session may result in a reduction of points.  Students that do not complete an exam in the regularly scheduled time slot will still be required to complete it, but may receive little or no credit depending on the circumstances.

Students are responsible for material covered in class, even if missed.  If absent, it is advised that students contact someone in class for this information prior to the next class session.  Your instructor is willing to assist you in reviewing any material you do not understand.  Please initiate the contact for such help.

All assignments are due at the beginning of class on the date specified; late papers will have points deducted. If you are absent on the date an assignment is due you must make arrangements with the instructor to be allowed to turn it in for credit. All assignments must be completed in order to earn a grade for the class.

Failure to comply with established laboratory waste disposal policies will result in loss of laboratory points.

Established laboratory safety protocol must be followed while in the laboratory including: no eating or drinking in the lab, removal of personal protective equipment and washing of hands before leaving lab, and others discussed in class.

Proper clothing must be worn to all laboratory sessions which includes no shorts or open toe shoes.  Long hair must also be tied back.   If shorts or open toe shoes are worn to class, you will not be allowed to participate in the lab session.  You will be asked to leave and points will be deducted for an absence.  The lab will need to be made up in open lab.

No special projects or term papers will be accepted in lieu of class assignments, written exams, or active participation in class.

College policies regarding Academic Dishonesty, Student Procedure for Appeal of a Final Grade, and Code of Student Conduct, are described in the catalogue.

Oakton Community College recognizes the broad diversity of religious beliefs of its constituencies.  The college has embraced a practice of shared responsibility in the event a religious observance interferes with class work or assignments.  Students who inform instructors in advance of an intended absence for a major religious observance will not be penalized.  The instructor will make reasonable accommodation for students, which may include providing a make-up test, altering assignment dates, permitting a student to attend another section of the same course for a class period or similar remedies.  Instructors are not responsible for teaching material againInstructors should inform students of this practice at the beginning of the semester so that arrangements can be made accordingly.

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services.  To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus.  All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements.  The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Health Status Change Policy Statement – Any change in health status of currently enrolled students, resulting in the inability to meet the course/program objectives and standards as outlined in the Essential Skills requirement policy will require documentation and medical approval for the student to return to clinical, theory, and lab-which require lifting without restrictions.

  1. Any change in health status must be reported to the Chair of the department.  Examples may include but are not limited to, back injury, pregnancy, infection such as shingles, fractures, etc.
  2. Students must provide documentation of care by an Illinois licensed physician or an Illinois certified nurse practitioner and submit a medical release without restrictions before returning to clinical/class.
  3. Releases from physicians or nurse practitioners must state that the student “can return to the laboratory and clinical facility without any work restrictions.”

A change in health status must be reported to the Chair of the department.  Failure to submit a medical release or information regarding a change in health status within 30 days is grounds for immediate dismissal from a Health Career Program.



If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at www.oakton.edu/title9/.

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at www.oakton.edu/lgbtq.