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Microalbumin (Urinary Albumin Excretion)

Test code(s) 6517, 15281, 17674, 4555

This test is used to detect and monitor renal disease in patients with diabetes mellitus and hypertension, and other patients at risk for or with renal disease including women with preeclampsia and patients with systemic lupus erythematosis (SLE).

Gross proteinuria may be detected using urine dipsticks and direct testing. The immunoturbidimetric assay for urinary albumin excretion is more sensitive and enables earlier detection of renal impairment.1

Random urine and 24-hour urine specimens can be tested. The 24-hour urine collection should start after the first morning void and should include all subsequent voids up to and including the first void of the next morning. Refrigerate the urine during and after collection.

The patient should avoid exercise for 24 hours before specimen collection, because it may elevate urinary albumin excretion.

Urinary tract infections, menstrual bleeding, fever, congestive heart failure, marked hyperglycemia, and marked hypertension may elevate urinary albumin excretion.

The Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes (KDIGO) guidelines state that an abnormal albumin level (≥30 mg/24 h or mcg/mg creatinine) for more than 3 months is diagnostic of chronic kidney disease.2


  1. Paloheimo L, Pajari-Backas M, Pitkänen E, et al.Evaluation of an immunoturbidimetric microalbuminuria assay. J Clin Chem Clin Biochem. 1987;25:889-892.
  2. Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes (KDIGO) CKD Work Group. KDIGO 2012 clinical practice guideline for the evaluation and management of chronic kidney disease. Kidney Inter Suppl. 2013;3:1–150. Accessed October 15, 2013.


This FAQ is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. A clinician’s test selection and interpretation, diagnosis, and patient management decisions should be based on his/her education, clinical expertise, and assessment of the patient.

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