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mineral or organic particles that are deposited by the action of wind, water, or glacial ice. These sediments can eventually form sedimentary rocks (see rockrock,
aggregation of solid matter composed of one or more of the minerals forming the earth's crust. The scientific study of rocks is called petrology. Rocks are commonly divided, according to their origin, into three major classes—igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic.
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Classification of Sediments

Sediments are commonly subdivided into three major groups—mechanical, chemical, and organic.

Mechanical, or clastic, sediments are derived from the erosion of earlier formed rocks on the earth's surface or in the oceans. These are then carried by streams, winds, or glaciers to the site where they are deposited. Streams deposit sediment in floodplainsfloodplain,
level land along the course of a river formed by the deposition of sediment during periodic floods. Floodplains contain such features as levees, backswamps, delta plains, and oxbow lakes.
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 or carry these particles to the ocean, where they may be deposited as a deltadelta
[from triangular shape of the Nile delta, like the Greek letter delta], a deposit of clay, silt, and sand formed at the mouth of a river where the stream loses velocity and drops part of its sediment load.
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. Ocean sediments, especially in the form of turbidites, are usually deposited at the foot of continental slopes (see oceansocean,
interconnected mass of saltwater covering 70.78% of the surface of the earth, often called the world ocean. It is subdivided into four (or five) major units that are separated from each other in most cases by the continental masses. See also oceanography.
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). Glaciers carry sediment frozen within the mass of the ice and are capable of carrying even huge boulders (erratics).

Chemical sediments are formed by chemical reactions in seawater that result in the precipitation of minute mineral crystals, which settle to the floor of the sea and ultimately form a more or less chemically pure layer of sediment. For example, evaporation in shallow basins results in a sequence of evaporite sediments, which include gypsum and rock salt.

Organic sediments are formed as a result of plant or animal actions; for example, peat and coal form by the incomplete decay of vegetation and its later compaction. Deep-ocean sediment known as pelagic ooze consists largely of the remains of microscope organisms (mostly foraminifera and diatoms) from the overlying waters as well as minor amounts of windblown volcanic and continental dust. Limestones are commonly formed by the aggregation of calcite shells of animals.

Formation of Sedimentary Rock

Sediments form sedimentary rock by compaction and cementation of the particles. Thus, coarse sediments become conglomeratesconglomerate,
in geology, sedimentary rock composed largely of pebbles or other rounded particles whose diameter is larger than 2 mm (.08 in.). Essentially a cemented gravel, conglomerates are formed along beaches, as glacial drift, and in river deposits.
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; sands become sandstonesandstone,
sedimentary rock formed by the cementing together of grains of sand. The usual cementing material in sandstone is calcium carbonate, iron oxides, or silica, and the hardness of sandstone varies according to the character of the cementing material; quartz sandstones
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; and muds become shaleshale,
sedimentary rock formed by the consolidation of mud or clay, having the property of splitting into thin layers parallel to its bedding planes. Shale tends to be fissile, i.e., it tends to split along planar surfaces between the layers of stratified rock.
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. Sedimentary rocks make up only about 5% of all rocks of the earth's crust, yet they cover 75% of the land area in a veneer that averages 2.26 km (1.4 mi) in thickness, ranging from 0 to 12.9 km (0–8 mi).

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Transported and deposited particles or aggregates derived from rocks, soil, or biological material.
Illustrated Dictionary of Architecture Copyright © 2012, 2002, 1998 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved


A mass of organic or inorganic solid fragmented material, or the solid fragment itself, that comes from weathering of rock and is carried by, suspended in, or dropped by air, water, or ice; or a mass that is accumulated by any other natural agent and that forms in layers on the earth's surface such as sand, gravel, silt, mud, fill, or loess.
A solid material that is not in solution and either is distributed through the liquid or has settled out of the liquid.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


The matter which settles to the bottom of water or any other liquid.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


material that has been deposited from water, ice, or wind
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Tam et al., "Messenger RNA expression of podocyte-associated molecules in urinary sediment of patients with lupus nephritis," Journal of Rheumatology, vol.
* The validity of renal biopsy, urinary sediment analysis, tests for proteinuria, and immunologic tests as surrogate markers in the treatment of lupus nephritis.
Screning results of 575 bovines from eleven farms of the Campo Elias Municipality, Merida State, Venezuela, were evaluated with the intention of knowing the validity, security and coefficient of probability of the tests urine reactive dip strips (URS) and microscopic examination of the urinary sediment (USME) as used options to support the diagnosis of Bovine Enzootic Hematuria (BEH), also in order to delineate strategies to face the problematic in the herds.
The quantitative significance of bacteria visualised in the unstained urinary sediment. N Engl J Med 1961;265:589-90.
hematobium eggs were identified in his urinary sediment but not in his stool.
24 h urinary samples were collected at the end of 8 weeks and then centrifuged at 2,000 g for 10 min for the determination of urinary albumin (Ualb), urinary sediment PCX (Upcx), and urinary creatinine (Ucr).
Consistent with previous guidance, the new KDIGO guideline retains the diagnostic criteria for CKD: a GFR threshold <60 mL x [min.sup.-1] x [(1.73 [m.sup.2]).sup.-1] or the presence of kidney damage (proteinuria, albuminuria, urinary sediment abnormalities, pathologic/ imaging abnormalities, genetic disorders, or a history of renal transplantation).
Nasal or oral inflammation (painful or painless oral ulcers, purulent or bloody nasal discharge) Abnormal chest radiograph showing nodules, fixed infiltrates, or cavities Abnormal urinary sediment (microscopic haematuria with or without red cell casts) Granulomatous inflammation on biopsy of an artery or perivascular area Although this is a very uncommon disease in children, but up to now it has been reported in a few children too with various presentations5-7.
Papanicolau standard staining was performed in urinary sediment. DC were recognized for their typical round-glass intranuclear inclusions with a peripheral of hyperchromatic chromatin.
"The Importance of Microscopic examination of the Urinary Sediment," American Journal of Medical Technology.
Reappraisal of a valuable clinical routine method (urinary sediment).