The microalbuminuria test looks for small quantities of a protein called albumin in a urine sample.
See also: Urine albumin
A small sample of urine needs to be collected.
Because the amount of water in urine can vary, it can affect the concentration of albumin. For this reason, the amount of creatinine is also measured. The result is reported as the ratio of albumin to creatinine.
If an abnormally high level of albumin is found, some health care providers will repeat the test on a 24-hour urine sample.
No special preparation is necessary for this test.
The test involves only normal urination. There is no discomfort.
This test is most often done to screen for early kidney damage (diabetic nephropathy) in a person who has had diabetes for several years.
Abnormal levels of the protein albumin in the urine signal the beginning of a condition called microalbuminuria.
The American Diabetes Association recommends that people with diabetes receive a microalbuminuria urine test every year (after 5 years of having the disease in people with type 1 diabetes, and at the time of diagnosis in people with type 2 diabetes).
Normally, most protein stays in the body, and little or no protein appears in the urine.
The ratio of albumin to creatinine is usually used to classify diabetic nephropathy. A ratio less than 30 micrograms per milligram is normal.
Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Talk to your doctor about the meaning of your specific test results.
If albumin is detected in the urine, your kidneys may be damaged and may not be working properly. Further tests must be done to confirm a problem and determine the severity of any kidney damage.
Increased levels of albumin may occur with:
There are no risks with providing a urine sample.
Healthy people may exceed normal levels after strenuous exercise or with dehydration.
American Diabetes Association. Standards of medical care in diabetes -- 2010. Diabetes Care. 2010;33:S11-S61.
Inzucchi SE, Sherwin RS. Type 1 diabetes mellitus. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier;2007:chap 247.
Inzucchi SE, Sherwin RS. Type 2 diabetes mellitus. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier;2007:chap 248.
Review Date: 5/23/2010
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