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Alternative Names Return to topUrine protein; Albumin - urine; Urine albumin; Proteinuria; Albuminuria
Definition Return to top
A protein urine test measures the amount of proteins, such as albumin, found in a urine sample.
A blood test may also be done to measure the level of albumin. See: Serum albumin
How the Test is Performed Return to top
Urine protein may be tested using a random sample of urine and a dipstick test, or it may require a 24-hour urine sample. See: 24-hour urine protein
How to Prepare for the Test Return to top
Your health care provider may tell you to temporarily stop taking any drugs that can interfere with test results.
Drugs that can affect measurements include:
The following may also interfere with test results.
How the Test Will Feel Return to top
The test only involves normal urination, and there is no discomfort.
Why the Test is Performed Return to top
This test is most often performed when kidney disease is suspected. It may be used as a screening test.
Normally, protein is not found in urine when a routine dipstick test is performed. This is because the kidney is supposed to keep large molecules, such as protein, in the blood and only filter out smaller impurities. Even if small amounts of protein do get through, they are normally reabsorbed by the body and used as a source of energy.
Some proteins will appear in the urine if the levels of protein in blood become high, even when the kidney is functioning properly.
If the kidney is diseased, protein will appear in the urine even if blood levels are normal.
Normal Results Return to top
For a random urine sample, the normal values are approximately 0 to 8 mg/dL.
For a 24-hour urine collection, the normal value is less than 150 mg per 24 hours.
Note: Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Talk to your doctor about the meaning of your specific test results.
What Abnormal Results Mean Return to top
Abnormal results may be due to:
Additional conditions under which the test may be performed:
Risks Return to top
There are no risks.Update Date: 10/22/2007 Updated by: Robert Mushnick, M.D., Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Nephrology, SUNY Downstate Health Center, Brooklyn, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.