Contact Us  |  Search: 
Printer Friendly VersionEmail A FriendAdd ThisIncrease Text SizeDecrease Text Size

Protein - urine

 

Definition

A protein urine test measures the amount of proteins, such as albumin, found in a urine sample.

A blood test may also be done to measure the level of albumin. See: Serum albumin

Alternative Names

Urine protein; Albumin - urine; Urine albumin; Proteinuria; Albuminuria

How the test is performed

Urine protein may be tested using a random sample of urine and a dipstick test, or it may require a 24-hour urine sample. See: 24-hour urine protein

How to prepare for the test

Your health care provider may tell you to temporarily stop taking any drugs that can interfere with test results.

Drugs that can affect measurements include:

  • Acetazolamide
  • Aminoglycosides
  • Amphotericin B
  • Cephalosporins
  • Colistin
  • Griseofulvin
  • Lithium
  • Methicillin
  • Nafcillin
  • Kidney damaging drugs
  • Oxacillin
  • Penicillamine
  • Penicillin G
  • Phenazopyridine
  • Polymyxin B
  • Salicylates
  • Sulfonamides
  • Tolbutamide

The following may also interfere with test results.

  • Dehydration
  • Severe emotional stress
  • Strenuous exercise
  • Receiving a special dye (contrast media) for a radiology exam within 3 days before the urine test
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Urine contaminated with vaginal secretions
How the test will feel

The test only involves normal urination, and there is no discomfort.

Why the test is performed

This test is most often performed when kidney disease is suspected. It may be used as a screening test.

Normally, protein is not found in urine when a routine dipstick test is performed. This is because the kidney is supposed to keep large molecules, such as protein, in the blood and only filter out smaller impurities. Even if small amounts of protein do get through, they are normally reabsorbed by the body and used as a source of energy.

Some proteins will appear in the urine if the levels of protein in blood become high, even when the kidney is functioning properly.

If the kidney is diseased, protein will appear in the urine even if blood levels are normal.

Normal Values

For a random urine sample, the normal values are approximately 0 to 8 mg/dL.

For a 24-hour urine collection, the normal value is less than 150 mg per 24 hours.

Note: Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Talk to your doctor about the meaning of your specific test results.

What abnormal results mean

Abnormal results may be due to:

Additional conditions under which the test may be performed:

What the risks are

There are no risks.

References

Bazari H. Approach to the patient with renal disease. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 115.


Review Date: 8/7/2009
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, A.D.A.M., Inc.
A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, also known as the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission (www.urac.org). URAC's accreditation program is an independent audit to verify that A.D.A.M. follows rigorous standards of quality and accountability. A.D.A.M. is among the first to achieve this important distinction for online health information and services. Learn more about A.D.A.M.'s editorial policy, editorial process and privacy policy. A.D.A.M. is also a founding member of Hi-Ethics and subscribes to the principles of the Health on the Net Foundation (www.hon.ch).
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2009 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
MAIMONIDES
MEDICAL CENTER


Home Page
Why Choose Us
Donations
Website Terms of Use
PATIENT
INFORMATION


Visitor & Patient Info
We Speak Your Language
Patient Privacy
Contact Us
KEY
INFORMATION


Find a Physician
Medical Services
Maimonides In the News
Directions & Parking
FOR HEALTH
PROFESSIONALS


Medical Education
Career Opportunities
Nurses & Physicians
Staff Intranet Access

Maimonides Medical Center    |    4802 Tenth Avenue    |    Brooklyn, NY 11219    |    718.283.6000