Saturday, December 20, 2014

Table of Contents

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.



Review Date: 08/07/2009
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)