What is Microalbumin Test?
A urine microalbumin test is a test to detect very small levels of a blood protein (albumin) in your 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 your blood and hang on to the healthy components, including proteins such as albumin. Kidney damage can cause proteins to leak through your kidneys and exit your body in your urine. Albumin is one of the first proteins to leak when kidneys become damaged.
Why is Microalbumin Test performed?
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 beginning five years after your diagnosis.
- Type 2 diabetes. If you have type 2 diabetes, your doctor may recommend a microalbumin test once a year beginning immediately after your diagnosis.
- High blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure, your doctor may recommend microalbumin tests more regularly. Discuss with your doctor how often to repeat this test.
If your urinary microalbumin level is elevated, your doctor may recommend treatment and more frequent testing.
What should I know before receiving Microalbumin Test?
The microalbuminuria test only requires normal urination. This test has no risks, and you shouldn’t have any discomfort.
How to prepare for Microalbumin Test?
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 may vary — you may only need to provide a random sample, or your doctor may ask you to collect 24 hours’ worth of urine.
What happens during Microalbumin Test?
Several types of microalbuminuria urine tests are available:
Random urine test
You can take a random urine test at any time. Doctors often combine it with a creatinine test to improve the accuracy of the results. You can have this test in any healthcare setting. You’ll collect the sample in a sterile cup, and your doctor will send it to a laboratory for analysis.
24-hour urine test
For this test, you’ll need to collect all of your urine for a 24-hour period. Your doctor will provide you with a container for urine collection that you must keep in the refrigerator. Once you’ve collected your urine for 24 hours, you’ll need to return the sample to your healthcare provider for lab analysis.
Timed urine test
Your doctor may ask you to provide a urine sample first thing in the morning or after a four-hour period of not urinating.
Once the lab reports the results, your doctor will be able to provide you with more information about the results and what they mean.
What happens after Microalbumin Test?
The urine sample is sent to a lab for analysis. After you provide the urine sample, you can return to your usual activities immediately.
If you have any questions about the Microalbumin Test, please consult with your doctor to better understand your instructions.
Explanation of results
What do my results mean?
Results of the microalbumin test are measured as milligrams (mg) of protein leakage over 24 hours. Generally:
- Less than 30 mg is normal
- Thirty to 300 mg may indicate early kidney disease (microalbuminuria)
- More than 300 mg indicates more advanced kidney disease (macroalbuminuria)
Discuss your test result with your doctor and what it means for your health. If your urinary microalbumin level is higher than normal, your doctor may recommend repeating the test.
Several factors can cause higher than expected urinary microalbumin results, such as:
- Blood in your urine (hematuria)
- Certain medications
- Recent vigorous exercise
- Urinary tract infection
- Other kidney diseases
Depending on the laboratory and hospital, the normal range for Microalbumin Test may vary. Please discuss with your doctor any questions you may have about your test results.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Microalbumin test. https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/microalbumin/about/pac-20384640. Accessed October 19, 2018.
Microalbuminuria Test. https://www.healthline.com/health/microalbuminuria-test. Accessed October 19, 2018.
Review Date: November 4, 2018 | Last Modified: September 12, 2019