Summary of Abnormal Crystals

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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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Summary of Abnormal Crystals

Table 4 summarizes the characteristics of the more common types of abnormal crystals.
Table 4. Summary of Abnormal Crystals and their Characteristics.
CrystalColorSignificance
LeucineYellowMetabolism
TyrosineColorless–yellowLiver disease (rare)
CystineColorlessCysteine metabolism
CholesterolColorlessRenal tubular disease
BilirubinGold-orangeIncreased bilirubin
High doses of ampicillin, sulfonamide, or other drugs may also result in urine crystal formation. It is important to check the patient's current medications when unusual crystals are found in the urine specimen.