Microalbumin Urine Test
A microalbumin test
checks urine for the presence of a protein called
albumin. Albumin is normally found in the blood and
filtered by the
kidneys. When the
kidneys are working properly, albumin is not present
in the urine. But when the kidneys are damaged, small amounts of albumin leak
into the urine. This condition is called microalbuminuria.
Microalbuminuria is most often caused by kidney damage from
diabetes. But many other conditions can lead to kidney
damage, such as
high blood pressure,
systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). If early kidney
damage is not treated, larger amounts of albumin and protein may leak into the
urine. This condition is called macroalbuminuria or proteinuria. When the
kidneys spill protein, it can mean serious kidney damage is present. This can
chronic kidney disease. A microalbumin urine test can
be done on a sample of urine collected randomly (usually after the first time
you urinate in the morning), a sample collected over a 24-hour period, or a
sample collected over a specific period of time, such as 4 hours or
Why It Is Done
A microalbumin urine test is done to
check for protein (albumin) in the urine. Early detection may change treatment
in an effort to preserve as much kidney function as possible.
How To Prepare
You do not need to do anything before
having this test.
How It Is Done
For a random urine test, you will
provide a clean-catch midstream urine sample. A morning urine sample gives the
best information about microalbumin levels.
Clean-catch midstream one-time urine collection
This collection method prevents contamination of the sample.
- Wash your hands to make sure they are clean
before collecting the urine.
- If the collection cup has a lid,
remove it carefully and set it down with the inner surface up. Do not touch the
inside of the cup with your fingers.
- Clean the area around your
- A man should pull back the foreskin, if
present, and clean the head of his penis thoroughly with medicated towelettes
- A woman should spread open the folds of skin around her
vagina with one hand, then use her other hand to clean
the area around her vagina and
urethra thoroughly with medicated towelettes or swabs.
She should wipe the area from front to back to avoid contaminating the urethra
with bacteria from the
- Begin urinating into the toilet or urinal. A
woman should continue to hold apart the folds of skin around the vagina while
- After the urine has flowed for several seconds, place
the collection cup into the stream and collect about
2 fl oz (60 mL) of this
"midstream" urine without interrupting the flow.
- Do not touch the
rim of the cup to your genital area, and do not get toilet paper, pubic hair,
stool (feces), menstrual blood, or other foreign matter in the urine
- Finish urinating into the toilet or
- Carefully replace the lid on the cup and return it to the
lab. If you are collecting the urine at home and cannot get it to the lab in an
hour, refrigerate it.
A urine sample collected over time, such as over 4 or
24 hours, gives the most accurate results so you may be asked to collect your
urine over a specific time period.
Timed urine collection (24 hours)
- You start collecting your urine in the morning. When you first
get up, empty your bladder but do not save this urine. Write down the time that
you urinated to mark the beginning of your 24-hour collection
- For the next 24 hours, collect all your urine. Your doctor
or lab will usually provide you with a large container that holds about
1 gal (4 L). The container has
a small amount of preservative in it. Urinate into a small, clean container and
then pour the urine into the large container. Do not touch the inside of either
container with your fingers.
- Keep the large container in the
refrigerator for the 24 hours.
- Empty your bladder for the final
time at or just before the end of the 24-hour period. Add this urine to the
large container and record the time.
- Do not get toilet paper, pubic
hair, stool (feces), menstrual blood, or other foreign matter in the urine