UHSD - Clinical: Hemosiderin, Urine

Test Catalog

Test Name

Test ID: UHSD    
Hemosiderin, Urine

Useful For Suggests clinical disorders or settings where the test may be helpful

Detecting hemosiderinuria, secondary to excess hemolysis, as in incompatible blood transfusions, severe acute hemolytic anemia, or hemochromatosis

Clinical Information Discusses physiology, pathophysiology, and general clinical aspects, as they relate to a laboratory test

When the plasma hemoglobin level is >50 to 200 mg/dL after hemolysis, the capacity of haptoglobin to bind hemoglobin is exceeded, and hemoglobin readily passes through the glomeruli of the kidney. Part of the hemoglobin is absorbed by the proximal tubular cells where the hemoglobin iron is converted to hemosiderin. When these tubular cells are later shed into the urine, hemosiderinuria results. If all of the hemoglobin cannot be absorbed into the tubular cells, hemoglobinuria results.


Hemosiderin is found as yellow-brown granules that are free or in epithelial cells and occasionally in casts in an acidic or neutral urine.

Reference Values Describes reference intervals and additional information for interpretation of test results. May include intervals based on age and sex when appropriate. Intervals are Mayo-derived, unless otherwise designated. If an interpretive report is provided, the reference value field will state this.

Hemosiderin: negative (reported as positive or negative)

Hemoglobin (internal specimens only): negative

RBC (internal specimens only): 0-2 rbc/hpf

Interpretation Provides information to assist in interpretation of the test results

A positive hemosiderin indicates excess red cell destruction.


Hemosiderinuria may still be detected after hemoglobin has cleared from the urine and hemoglobin dipstick is negative.

Cautions Discusses conditions that may cause diagnostic confusion, including improper specimen collection and handling, inappropriate test selection, and interfering substances

No significant cautionary statements

Clinical Reference Provides recommendations for further in-depth reading of a clinical nature

Henry JB: Clinical Diagnosis and Management by Laboratory Methods. 18th edition. Philadelphia, WB Saunders Company, 1991, pp 412-413