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Uric Acid Crystals

The presence of uric acid crystals is generally of little clinical significance. They are found in acidic urine (pH below 5.5). The formation of uric acid crystals can by caused by a combination of factors including a diet rich in meat, decreased urine volume or a condition that acidifies urine such as chronic diarrhea. They are also present in individuals who have gout or during chemotherapy.

In individuals with kidney stones, the repeated presence of uric acid crystals in the urine could indicate the probable nature of the stone (or the substance that it formed out of). It should be noted, however, that most patients with uric acid crystals will never form stones.

Term of the Week

Hot zone

A hot zone is a section of a facility (sometimes an entire facility or even a city district) where there is a high risk of contamination by patients with an infectious disease. All individuals entering a hot zone must respect appropriate protective measures. By analogy, “cold zone” and “warm zone” are used to refer to areas where there is no infected individual or only individuals suspected of having an infection.