A urine microalbumin test is a test to detect very small levels of a blood protein (albumin) in the urine. A microalbumin test is used to detect early signs of kidney damage in people who are at risk of developing kidney disease.
Healthy kidneys filter waste from the blood and hold on to healthy components, including proteins like albumin. Kidney damage can cause proteins to leak through the kidneys and out of the body in the urine. albumin (al-byoo-min) is one of the first proteins to leak when the kidneys are damaged.
Microalbumin tests are recommended for people at increased risk of kidney disease, such as those with diabetes or high blood pressure.
why is it done
Your doctor may recommend a urine microalbumin test to detect early signs of kidney damage. treatment may prevent or delay more advanced kidney disease.
How often you need microalbumin tests depends on any underlying conditions and your risk of kidney damage. for example:
- type 1 diabetes. If you have type 1 diabetes, your doctor may recommend a microalbumin test once a year starting five years after your diagnosis.
- Type 2 diabetes. If you have type 2 diabetes, your doctor may recommend a microalbumin test once a year immediately after your diagnosis.
- high blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure, your doctor may recommend more regular microalbumin tests. talk to your doctor about how often to repeat this test.
- 24-hour urine test. Your doctor may ask you to collect all of your urine in a special container over a 24-hour period and send it for testing.
- Timed urine test. Your doctor may ask you to provide a urine sample first thing in the morning or after a four-hour period without urinating.
- random urine test. A random urine test can be done at any time. But to improve the accuracy of the results, it’s often combined with a urine test for creatinine, a waste product normally filtered out by the kidneys.
- less than 30 mg is normal
- 30 to 300 mg may indicate early kidney disease (microalbuminuria)
- more than 300 mg indicates more advanced kidney disease (macroalbuminuria)
- blood in the urine (hematuria)
- certain medications
- recent vigorous exercise
- urinary tract infection
- other kidney diseases
If your urine microalbumin level is elevated, your doctor may recommend more frequent testing and treatment.
how do you prepare
The microalbumin test is a simple urine test. you can eat and drink normally before the test. the amount of urine your doctor may want to test can vary; you may only need to provide a random sample, or your doctor may ask you to collect 24-hour urine.
what you can expect
During the microalbumin test, you only need to provide a fresh urine sample. this can be done in several ways:
The urine sample is sent to a lab for analysis. after providing the urine sample, you can return to your usual activities immediately.
Microalbumin test results are measured as milligrams (mg) of protein loss over 24 hours. usually:
Discuss your test result with your doctor and find out what it means for your health. If your urine microalbumin level is higher than normal, your doctor may recommend repeating the test.
Several factors can cause higher-than-expected urinary microalbumin results, including: