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Chyluria (milky urine)

Chyluria is a morbid condition in which the urine contains chyle or fatty matter, giving it a milky appearance. Filariasis is the most frequent cause of Chylous urine. Repeated filarial attacks lead to obstruction of lymph flow. This leads to dilatation of the lymphatics and later they rupture into urinary system leading to milky urine. Non-parasitical causes of Chylous urine: Tumors, abscesses, trauma, tuberculosis, congenital, etc. Chylous urine is milky white urine due to the presence of chyle that enters the urinary drainage system as a result of fistulous communications with the renal lymphatics.

Chyluria is a symptom and not a disease. Filariasis is the most common cause of Chylous urine. Wuchereria bancrofti, a viviparous nematode, accounts for 90 per cent of human filariasis. Man is the only host. The disease is spread by bites from mosquitoes (Anopheles or Culex): adult worms migrate to the lymphatics, where they cause obstruction. The disease affects 5 to 10 per cent of the population in the endemic areas of the Indian subcontinent.

Milky appearance of the urine is the striking sign of Chyluria. Prolonged chyluria results in loss of weight and subcutaneous fat, hypoprotenemia, lymphopenia and anaemia.

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