What is Microalbumin Test?
A microalbumin test is a laboratory test that measures the level of a protein called albumin in the urine. Albumin is a protein normally present in the blood but only in small amounts in the urine. If there is an increase in the level of albumin in the urine, it can be a sign of kidney damage or dysfunction.
The microalbumin test is typically ordered for people with diabetes or high blood pressure, as these conditions can increase the risk of kidney damage. The test involves collecting a urine sample, usually over a 24-hour period, and sending it to a laboratory for analysis.
Early detection of kidney damage through the microalbumin test is important, as it can allow for prompt treatment to prevent further damage and potentially delay the progression of kidney disease. Treatment may involve managing underlying conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure, making lifestyle changes, and taking medications to help protect the kidneys.
It is important to discuss any abnormal test results with a healthcare provider to determine the appropriate course of treatment.
Who needs a microalbumin urine test?
A microalbumin urine test is useful because it can detect kidney issues early on.
A doctor will prescribe a microalbumin test for the following conditions:
Type 1 Diabetes
Starting 5 years after being diagnosed with the illness, you will be tested once a year.
Type 2 diabetes
You will require this test once a year when you have type 2 diabetes.
Your doctor will advise you on how frequently you should be tested. You may also require testing if you:
- Are 65 years old or more and have a risk for heart or kidney disease.
- Any family members who have or had renal disease.
What Happens During the Examination?
A urine sample is required to test for albumin. Your doctor may instruct you to do so in one of several ways:
They'll lead you to a restroom and instruct you to pee into a container. Your doctor will request a lab test for creatinine and albumin. Creatinine is a natural waste product found in urine. When both values are measured, you have a better picture of what's going on. Results are normally available within 24 to 72 hours, depending on the lab.
A short-timed test typically involves collecting all urine produced over a two-hour period.
12- or 24-hour test
You will be given a container by the doctor. You'll urinate into it for 24 hours and then return it. After 24 hours, repeat the process, adding the urine and noting the time. Keep it cool until you're ready to return it. The test searches for the same things as a random test, but collecting urine over a longer period of time allows the doctor to have a better sense of what's in it. You should obtain results within a week or two.
Understanding the results
The normal range for albumin in the urine is less than 30 milligrams daily. If the level of albumin in the urine is between 30 and 300 milligrams per day, it is considered to be a sign of early kidney damage, a condition known as microalbuminuria. If the level of albumin in the urine is greater than 300 milligrams per day, it is considered to be a sign of more advanced kidney damage.
Albumin levels and albumin/creatinine ratio are normal.
Keep in mind that laboratories test things a bit differently from each other. However, because no two bodies are the same, what is typical for one person may not be normal for you. The figures shown here are only recommendations. Your doctor can explain what they mean to you.
If there is albumin in your pee, the amount likely fluctuates over the day. This makes getting an exact measurement a bit more difficult. Moreover,
any of these might provide an abnormally high result:
If your findings are high, your doctor will likely want you to repeat the test.
You'll probably do it a few times in the following 3 to 6 months. If two of three tests come back positive, you most likely have early kidney disease. If the results are far higher than expected, it might be a symptom of more serious issues.