Nephrology/Foamy urine


QUESTION: Dear Dr. Shah,
Age 54 hispanic, vegetarian
Experiencing medium to large bubbles in urine.  Cbc rbc4.71, wbc4.5, hematocrit 45.5, hemaglobin14.9 all levels normal gfr 78.
Comprehensive Metabolic Panel Glucose 96, bun 10, creatnine 1.1 ,sodium 140,potasium 4.3,chloride 105, co2 26, calcium 9.3, protein total 7.4, albumin 4.7, globumin2.7 albumin/ globumin ratio 1.7, bilirubin1.6, alkaline 82 ast16, alt 15
UACR test <15 albumin.
I had a recent 3Tmri w contrast. Is it possible contrast effected kidneys?
Do you think i need further testing? Thank you so much.

ANSWER: Hi Mark,

Thanks for asking my help on Allexperts.

All your test results are within normal limits. With normal kidney function and no proteinuria, it is unlikely that Gadolinium (MRI Contrast) could have affected your kidney function.

I see no cause for concern at the moment. Please continue your annual physical and labs with your primary care provider.


Dr. Shah

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you Dr. Shah,
Having foam and bubbles in urine is worrisome. I was told if bubbles go away in 30 to 40 minutes I need not worry. Can chronic prostatitis be the culprit?

Thanks you so much for your expert advice.



Thanks for following up with me.

The foamy phenomenon is probably due to the velocity of urine flow into the toilet or other unknown factors.

Chronic Prostatitis is not known to cause foamy urine. Men with chronic bacterial prostatitis tend to have symptoms that wax and wane. During a flare-up, patients can have pain and discomfort. Patients feel this mainly at the base of their penis, around their anus, just above their pubic bone and/or in their lower back. Pain may spread to penis and testicles (testes). Passing stools (faeces) can be painful. Patients also have symptoms from a urine infection, such as pain when passing urine, passing urine frequently or an urgent desire to pass urine.


Dr. Shah


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Dr. Shamik Shah, MD, DNB (Nephrology), ISN Fellow


I can answer all questions related to kidney diseases, hypertension, plasmapheresis and kidney transplantation. I am an Indian-Board certified Nephrologist. I was a post-Doctoral Scholar at the Division of Nephrology & Hypertension,Department of Medicine, University of California, San Diego. My area of interest is Critical care Nephrology and Acute Kidney Injury.

Please mention the units in which your lab results were reported and the normal reference range for your laboratory.

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Ten years as a Critical Care & Transplant Nephrologist

International Society of Nephrology
Indian Society of Nephrology
Indian Medical Association
European Renal Association

- Shah SH, Cerda J. Acute Tubular Necrosis; Lerma, Edgar V., Rosner, Mitchell eds. Clinical Decisions in Nephrology, Hypertension and Kidney Transplantation. Springer ISBN 978-1-4614-4453-4, pp. 191-198
- Shah SH, Cerda J. Management of Acute Kidney Injury; Lerma, Edgar V., Rosner, Mitchell eds. Clinical Decisions in Nephrology, Hypertension and Kidney Transplantation. Springer ISBN 978-1-4614-4453-4
- Cerda J, Tolwani A, Shah SH, Ronco C. Continuous Renal Replacement Therapies in Modeling and Control of Dialysis Systems edited by Azar AT, Springer-Verlag, Heidelberg, Germany (In Press)
- Shah SH, Cerda J, Kellum JA. Acute Kidney Injury in Special Circumstances. John Kellum, Jorge Cerda, eds. Renal and Metabolic Disorders, Oxford University Press (In press)
- Shah SH, Mehta RL. “Anticoagulation in CRRT: Is Citrate better?”; Vineet Nayyar Ed. Critical Care Update 2009, Jaypee Brothers (In press)
- Shah SH, Mehta RL. “Non-dialytic management of acute kidney disease”; Evidence based Nephrology, BMJ, (In press)
- Shah SH, Mehta RL. “Epidemiology of Community-acquired AKI”; Ronco C, Bellomo R, Kellum J Eds. Critical Care Nephrology, Saunders. ISBN 1-4160-4252-0
- Abdeen O, Shah SH, Mehta RL; “Dialysis therapies in the surgical intensive care unit”; William Wilson, Christopher Grande, David Hoyt Eds. Trauma: Resuscitation, Anesthesia, and Critical Care, Informa Healthcare, NY 2007. ISBN 0-8247-2920-X
- Shah SH, Mehta RL. Acute kidney injury in critical care: time for a paradigm shift? Curr Opin Nephrol Hypertens. 2006 Nov;15(6):561-5.
- Shah, SH, Soroko S, Lischer E, Mehta RL. Delivered vs. Prescribed dose of Dialysis in Hospitalized Patients: Results of an Audit. J Am Soc Nephrol 17(Abstracts Issue): 2006, 107A.
- Shah SH et al “Biochemical Nutritional Parameters in Non-vegetarian and Vegetarian CAPD patients” Perit Dial Int 2001; 21 Suppl 2: S1-182

MBBS, MD (Internal Medicine), Diplomate of National board (Nephrology), ISN Fellow

Awards and Honors
Educational Ambassador of the International Society of Nephrology 2010
Fellowship of the International Society of Nephrology 2005.
Young Investigator Award by the International Society of Peritoneal Dialysis 2001

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