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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course The Urine Microscopic: Microscopic Analysis of Urine Sediment. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Squamous Epithelial Cells

The most common type of cell seen in the urine sediment is the squamous epithelial cell. A squamous epithelial cell is a large flattened cell with abundant cytoplasm and small round central nucleus. Although squamous epithelial cells have little clinical significance, they must be differentiated from other cellular elements.

Squamous epithelial cells line the urethra in females and the distal portion of the urethra in males. Large numbers of squamous epithelial cells in the urine of women can represent vaginal or perineal contamination. Large numbers in the urine of an uncircumcised male can also represent contamination.
The arrows in the upper image on the right point to squamous epithelial cells as viewed under low power using brightfield microscopy. The arrow in the bottom image points to a squamous epithelial cell under high power. The sediment in the lower image was stained with a supravital stain.