Microalbumin, Timed Urine

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The following is a list of what is included in the item above. Click the test(s) below to view what biomarkers are measured along with an explanation of what the biomarker is measuring.

Also known as: Microalbumin Timed Urine

Duration (Min)

Microalbumin, Timed

Total Volume

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The Microalbumin, Timed Urine test contains 1 test with 3 biomarkers.

Description: A microalbumin test is a urine test for albumin, which is used to screen for and diagnose kidney disease, liver disorders, and evaluate a patient’s nutritional status.

Also Known As: ALB Test, Albumin Test, Urine Albumin Test, Microalbumin test, Timed Microalbumin Test

Collection Method: Urine Collection

Specimen Type: Urine

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is a Microalbumin Timed Urine 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 Timed Urine 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 (albuminuria) 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 Timed urine test:

  • Hepatic Function Panel
  • Comprehensive Metabolic Panel
  • Albumin Serum
  • Urinalysis
  • Glucose
  • Hemoglobin A1c
  • Urine Protein
  • Creatinine

Conditions where a Microalbumin Timed Urine test is recommended:

  • Diabetes
  • Kidney Disease
  • Hypertension
  • Proteinuria

How does my health care provider use a Microalbumin Timed Urine 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.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.

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