Urine protein dipstick testUrine protein; Albumin - urine; Urine albumin; Proteinuria; Albuminuria
The urine protein dipstick test measures the presence of all proteins, including albumin, in a urine sample.
Albumin and protein can also be measured using a blood test.
Albumin is a protein made by the liver. A serum albumin test measures the amount of this protein in the clear liquid portion of the blood. Albumin c...Read Article Now Book Mark Article
How the Test is Performed
After you provide a urine sample, it is tested. The health care provider uses a dipstick made with a color-sensitive pad. The color on the dipstick tells the provider the level of protein in your urine.
If needed, your provider may ask you to collect your urine at home over 24 hours. Your provider will tell you how to do this. Follow instructions exactly so that the results are accurate.
Collect your urine at home over 24 hour
A 24-hour urine protein measures the amount of protein released in urine over a 24-hour period.Read Article Now Book Mark Article
How to Prepare for the Test
Different medicines can change the result of this test. Before the test, tell your provider which medicines you are taking. DO NOT stop taking any medicine before talking to your provider.
The following may also interfere with test results:
- Dye (contrast media) if you have a radiology scan within 3 days before the urine test
- Fluid from the vagina that gets into the urine
- Strenuous exercise
- Urinary tract infection
How the Test Will Feel
The test only involves normal urination. There is no discomfort.
Why the Test is Performed
Chronic kidney disease is the slow loss of kidney function over time. The main job of the kidneys is to remove wastes and excess water from the body...Read Article Now Book Mark Article
Diabetes is a long-term (chronic) disease in which the body cannot regulate the amount of sugar in the blood.Read Article Now Book Mark Article
Although small amounts of protein are normally in urine, a routine dipstick test may not detect them. A urine microalbumin test can be performed to detect small amounts of albumin in the urine that may not be detected on dipstick testing. If the kidney is diseased, proteins may be detected on a dipstick test, even if blood protein levels are normal.
For a random urine sample, normal values are 0 to 14 mg/dL.
For a 24-hour urine collection, the normal value is less than 80 mg per 24 hours.
The examples above are common measurements for results of these tests. Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Some labs use different measurements or test different samples. Talk to your provider about the meaning of your specific test results.
What Abnormal Results Mean
Larger amounts of protein in the urine may be due to:
- Heart failure
- Kidney problems, such as kidney damage, diabetic kidney disease, and kidney cysts
Glomerulonephritis is a type of kidney disease in which the part of your kidneys that helps filter waste and fluids from the blood is damaged....Read Article Now Book Mark Article
Diabetic kidney disease
Kidney disease or kidney damage often occurs over time in people with diabetes. This type of kidney disease is called diabetic nephropathy.Read Article Now Book Mark Article
- Loss of body fluids (dehydration)
- Multiple myeloma
- Problems during pregnancy, such as seizures due to eclampsia or high blood pressure caused by preeclampsia
Eclampsia is the new onset of seizures or coma in a pregnant woman with preeclampsia. These seizures are not related to an existing brain condition....Read Article Now Book Mark Article
- Urinary tract problems, such as a bladder tumor or infection
There are no risks with this test.
Krishnan A, Levin A. Laboratory assessment of kidney disease: glomerular filtration rate, urinalysis, and proteinuria. In: Yu ASL, Chertow GM, Luyckx VA, Marsden PA, Skorecki K, Taal MW, eds. Brenner and Rector's The Kidney. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 23.
Lamb EJ, Jones GRD. Kidney function tests. In: Rifai N, ed. Tietz Textbook of Clinical Chemistry and Molecular Diagnostics. 7th ed. St Louis, MO: Elsevier; 2023:chap 34.
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Review Date: 7/19/2021
Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.