A urine protein electrophoresis is a test that estimates how much of certain proteins you have in your urine.
Urine protein electrophoresis; UPEP
A clean-catch (midstream) urine sample is needed.
Men or boys should first wipe clean the head of the penis. Women or girls need to wash the area between the lips of the vagina with soapy water and rinse well.
As you start to urinate, allow a small amount to fall into the toilet bowl (this clears the urethra of contaminants). Then, in a clean container, catch about 1 to 2 ounces of urine and remove the container from the urine stream. Give the container to the health care provider or assistant.
In infants, thoroughly wash the area around the urethra. Open a urine collection bag (a plastic bag with an adhesive paper on one end), and place it on your infant. For boys, the entire penis can be placed in the bag and the adhesive attached to the skin. For girls, the bag is placed over the labia. Place a diaper over the infant (bag and all).
Check your baby frequently and remove the bag after the infant has urinated into it. For active infants, this procedure may take a couple of attempts -- lively infants can displace the bag. The urine is drained into a container for transport back to the health care provider.
The laboratory specialist will place the urine sample on special paper and apply an electric current. The various proteins move and form visible bands, which reveal the general amounts of each protein.
Your health care provider may tell you to stop taking certain medicines that could interfere with the test. Medicines that can affect test results include:
Never stop taking any medication without first talking to your health care provider.
This test involves only normal urination. There is no discomfort.
Only small amounts of protein are normally found in the urine. The presence of protein in the urine can be a sign of many different disorders.
Urine protein electrophoresis may be recommended to help determine the cause of protein in the urine, or as a screening test to measure the various proteins in urine. Urine protein electrophoresis detects two types of protein: albumin and globulins.
No significant amount of globulins in the urine. Urine albumin is less than 5 mg/dL.
Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Talk to your doctor about the meaning of your specific test results.
There are no risks associated with this test.
McPherson RA, Pincus MR, eds. Henry's Clinical Diagnosis and Management by Laboratory Methods. 21st ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2006.
Review Date: 6/2/2010
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