Squamous epithelial cells serve a few functions. These cells protect underlying tissues. They form a barrier between the body and the exterior environment. A simple squamous epithelial cell in nephrons of the kidneys enable rapid filtration of diffusion and blood of small molecules. Squamous epithelial cells of the lungs help reduce friction and control vessel permeability. They also aid in absorption and filtration. Squamous epithelial cells can have one layer, which is the simple form, or a stratified form with multiple layers.

What Are Squamous Epithelial Cells?

Squamous epithelial cells are the most abundant cells in urine specimens. These cells are flat, with usually an irregular or angular outline. They have a small, thin nucleus with fine, granular cytoplasm. These types of cells may be seen as variably-sized clusters, or as single cells scattered around the specimen.


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What Does Squamous Epithelial Cells Mean?

When there are columnar epithelial cells in the urine, this indicates that there is the presence of a pathological condition associated with the kidneys or another part of the urinary tract. If squamous epithelial cells are present, this means that the urine is contaminated. You may have squamous epithelial cells in many instances.


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What Are Epithelial Cells?

Epithelial cells are cells that are on the surfaces of the body that act as a protective barrier to help stop viruses from getting inside the body. These cells cover a person’s skin. However, they can also be found along the surfaces of blood vessels, internal organs, and the digestive tract. It is natural for some of these cells to show up in urine. Still, too many of these cells found in the urine indicate an underlying health condition.


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What Are The Different Types Of Epithelial Cells?

There are three different types of epithelial cells including the following:

  • Squamous: large epithelial cells that come from the vagina and urethra. This type is most common in women’s urine.
  • Renal tubular: also known as renal cells, an increase of these cells in the urine may indicate a kidney disorder.
  • Transitional: these types of cells, also known as bladder cells, occur in men between the urethra and renal pelvis. They tend to be found more often in older men.


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How Can You Avoid Squamous Epithelial Cells Showing Up In A Urinalysis?

It depends on your underlying conditions. However, the best way to avoid contaminating urine and having squamous epithelial cells show up in test results is by doing the clean-catch method. This notion means to start the flow of urine, stopping mid-flow, and then finish urinating in the cup until it is about half full.


The clean-catch method is one of the best ways due to the lining of the skin, which may contain loose epithelial cells. They are located in the area of the urethra and usually wash away with the help of urine flow.


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Who’s More Prone To Having Squamous Epithelial Cells Show Up In Test Results?

People who do not use the clean-catch method are more susceptible to having squamous epithelial cells show up in their test results. To get the most accurate test results, follow the directions given to you when you are asked to provide a urine sample. It also depends on any underlying conditions you may have present in your body at the time of testing.


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What Is The Reason For A Urinalysis?

There are several reasons for having a urinalysis done. Some of them include the following:

  • Diagnosing medical conditions
  • Routine medical evaluation
  • Monitoring disease progression and response to therapy
  • Pregnancy testing
  • Drug screening


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When Should You See Your Doctor?

Your doctor may order a urinalysis if you come to them with symptoms of a urinary tract infection or kidney disorder, such as:

  • Frequent urination
  • Pain when urinating
  • Pain in the lower abdomen
  • Back pain

Your medical provider may also order a urinalysis if a visual or chemical urine test has shown that there might be a raised number of epithelial cells in your urine.


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What Treatment Is Available If Someone Has Epithelial Cells In The Urine?

Your diagnosis will determine how to treat the underlying cause of epithelial cells found in urine. A urinary tract infection means taking antibiotics and drinking more water may help speed up healing. Kidney disease treatment depends on the underlying cause of the disease such as high blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels. Your doctor may prescribe a blood pressure medication to slow the progression of the disease or to help preserve kidney function, even if you don’t have high blood pressure. Healthy dietary and lifestyle changes are essential as well.


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How Do Epithelial Cells Affect Daily Living?

The cause of a large number of epithelial cells found in urine will determine how it will affect daily living. You may have to deal with discomfort including painful and frequent urination. Drinking more water is vital as well as taking any antibiotics as described. Daily medications may be necessary if you have kidney disease.


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