The Microalbumin, 24-Hour Urine with Creatinine test contains 1 test with 2 biomarkers.
Brief Description: The Microalbumin 24-Hour Urine with Creatinine test is a specialized laboratory assay designed to measure the amount of microalbumin—a small protein—in a 24-hour urine collection. This test provides crucial information about kidney function, particularly the early detection of kidney damage or dysfunction.
Also Known As: ALB Test, Albumin Test, Urine Albumin Test, Microalbumin test, 24-Hour Microalbumin Test
Collection Method: Urine Collection
Specimen Type: Urine
Test Preparation: No preparation required
When is a Microalbumin 24 Hour Urine with Creatinine test ordered?
According to the American Diabetes Association and the National Kidney Foundation, everyone with type 1 diabetes should be tested annually beginning five years after diagnosis, and everyone with type 2 diabetes should be tested annually beginning from the time of diagnosis. If albumin is found in the urine, it should be confirmed by repeating the test two more times within a 3-6 month period. People with hypertension may be examined at regular intervals, with their healthcare professional determining the frequency.
What does a Microalbumin 24 Hour Urine with Creatinine test check for?
Albumin is a significant protein found in the blood. The urine albumin test identifies and quantifies albumin levels in the urine. The presence of a little amount of albumin in the urine could be a sign of renal disease early on. Urine microalbumin or microalbuminuria refers to the presence of a little amount of albumin in the urine. The term "microalbuminuria" is gradually being replaced by "albuminuria," which refers to any increase in albumin in the urine.
The liquid element of blood, plasma, contains a variety of proteins, including albumin. One of the kidneys' many roles is to conserve plasma proteins so that they do not mix with waste materials when urine is generated. Protein does not generally enter into urine due to two mechanisms: the glomeruli form a barrier that keeps most big plasma proteins inside the blood arteries, and the tubules almost totally resorb the smaller proteins that do get through.
Protein in the urine is most common when the kidney's glomeruli or tubules are damaged. The glomeruli can become inflamed and/or scarred, allowing more protein to seep into the urine. Protein can't be reabsorbed if the tubules are damaged.
Albumin is a plasma protein seen in high concentrations in the blood and virtually no albumin in the urine when the kidneys are functioning normally. However, when a person's kidneys are damaged or sick, they lose their ability to store albumin and other proteins. This is common in chronic conditions including diabetes and hypertension, when increased protein levels in the urine indicate worsening kidney function.
Albumin is one of the first proteins found in the urine of people who have kidney disease. People who have tiny amounts of albumin in their urine on a regular basis have a higher chance of developing renal failure and cardiovascular disease in the future.
In persons with chronic illnesses including diabetes and high blood pressure, a urine albumin test is used to check for kidney damage. Small levels of albumin that escape from the bloodstream through the kidneys and into the urine can be detected several years before serious kidney impairment manifests. Albumin and creatinine tests are usually performed on a urine sample obtained at random, and an albumin-to-creatinine ratio is calculated. This is done to give a more precise estimate of how much albumin is discharged into the urine.
Lab tests often ordered with a Microalbumin 24 Hour Urine with Creatinine test:
- Hepatic Function Panel
- Comprehensive Metabolic Panel
- Albumin Serum
- Hemoglobin A1c
- Urine Protein
Conditions where a Microalbumin 24 Hour Urine with Creatinine test is recommended:
The Microalbumin 24-Hour Urine with Creatinine test is crucial for assessing and diagnosing conditions related to kidney damage and dysfunction, including:
Diabetic Nephropathy: This condition is a common complication of diabetes characterized by progressive kidney damage. Detecting microalbuminuria is an early indicator of diabetic nephropathy.
Hypertensive Kidney Damage: High blood pressure can lead to kidney damage over time. Monitoring microalbuminuria helps identify kidney dysfunction due to hypertension.
How does my health care provider use a Microalbumin 24 Hour Urine with Creatinine test?
The urine albumin test, also known as the albumin/creatinine ratio, is used to assess persons who have chronic illnesses like diabetes or high blood pressure, which put them at risk of renal disease. People and healthcare providers can change treatment if they are identified in the early stages of kidney disease, according to studies. Controlling diabetes and hypertension by maintaining tight glycemic control and lowering blood pressure can slow or stop renal disease from progressing.
Albumin is a protein found in large amounts in the bloodstream. When the kidneys are working normally, there is almost no albumin in the urine. Even in the early stages of renal illness, albumin can be identified in the urine.
If albumin is found in a urine sample taken at random, over 4 hours, or overnight, the test can be repeated and/or validated using urine taken over a 24-hour period.
In most cases, an albumin/creatinine ratio is calculated by measuring both albumin and creatinine in a random urine sample. This might be done to detect how much albumin is escaping from the kidneys into the urine more precisely. The amount of liquid secreted in addition to the body's waste products varies throughout the day, with more or less liquid being discharged. As a result, albumin content in the urine may vary.
Creatinine, a byproduct of muscle metabolism, is generally released into the urine at a consistent rate, and its content in the urine is a measure of urine concentration. Because of this trait, creatinine can be used to compensate for urine concentration in a random urine sample. The ACR is preferred by the American Diabetes Association for screening for albuminuria, which indicates early kidney impairment. A high ACR should be done twice within 3 to 6 months to confirm the diagnosis because the amount of albumin in the urine might vary significantly.
What do my microalbumin test results mean?
The presence of moderately elevated albumin levels in both initial and repeat urine tests indicates the presence of early renal disease. Extremely high levels indicate that renal disease has progressed to a more serious stage. Normal renal function is indicated by undetectable levels.
A positive test result may be caused by the presence of blood in the urine, a urinary tract infection, strenuous activity, or other acute illnesses that are not connected to kidney disease. Following the resolution of these situations, testing should be redone.
Most Common Questions About the Microalbumin 24-Hour Urine with Creatinine test:
Purpose and Indications for the Microalbumin 24-Hour Urine with Creatinine Test
Why is the Microalbumin 24-Hour Urine with Creatinine test ordered?
The Microalbumin 24-Hour Urine with Creatinine test is typically ordered to evaluate kidney function, especially in those with diabetes or hypertension. The presence of microalbumin (a small protein) in the urine can be an early sign of kidney damage.
Who should get a Microalbumin 24-Hour Urine with Creatinine test?
Individuals at risk for kidney disease, such as those with diabetes, hypertension, or a family history of kidney disease, are the prime candidates for this test. It's often used as an early detection method for diabetic nephropathy.
Clinical Significance of Test Results
What do elevated levels of microalbumin in the 24-hour urine sample indicate?
Elevated levels of microalbumin in the urine indicate possible kidney damage or disease. It's a sign that the kidneys are not filtering the blood properly, allowing proteins like albumin to leak into the urine.
Why is creatinine also measured in the Microalbumin 24-Hour Urine test?
Creatinine is measured to provide a more accurate picture of kidney function. By comparing the ratio of microalbumin to creatinine, healthcare providers can get a better idea of the extent of potential kidney damage, especially in cases where urinary output varies.
Interpretation and Follow-up
If the Microalbumin 24-Hour Urine with Creatinine test shows elevated levels, what steps should one take next?
Elevated levels of microalbumin in the urine warrant further investigation. Follow-up tests might include a repeat of the microalbumin test, comprehensive metabolic panel, kidney ultrasound, or kidney biopsy, depending on the clinical picture. Additionally, it's essential to manage underlying conditions, such as diabetes, to prevent further kidney damage.
What does a normal result in the Microalbumin 24-Hour Urine with Creatinine test mean?
A normal result means that the amount of microalbumin present in the urine is within the expected range and suggests that the kidneys are functioning correctly. However, regular monitoring might be recommended, especially for high-risk individuals.
Conditions and Medications Influencing the Test
Can other conditions apart from kidney damage cause elevated microalbumin levels?
Yes, other conditions such as acute illness, infections, dehydration, or even intense physical activity can temporarily elevate microalbumin levels in the urine.
Which medications or substances influence the Microalbumin 24-Hour Urine with Creatinine test outcomes?
Certain medications, like angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), can affect microalbumin levels in the urine. It's essential to inform the healthcare provider of any medications or supplements being taken.
Dietary Influence and Recommendations
Do diet and nutrition affect the Microalbumin 24-Hour Urine with Creatinine test results?
While diet doesn't typically have a direct impact on microalbumin levels, a high protein intake can transiently increase the amount of protein in the urine. However, this is usually temporary and different from the consistent proteinuria seen in kidney disease.
What dietary guidelines are recommended for individuals showing elevated microalbumin levels in their urine?
For those showing signs of kidney stress or damage, a diet low in sodium, phosphorus, and protein might be recommended. However, specific dietary recommendations should be discussed with a healthcare provider or a renal dietitian.
We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.