What Is a Urine Microalbumin Test?


Quick Answer

A urine microalbumin test determines the presence of traces of the protein albumin in the urine, according to Mayo Clinic. Doctors perform this test to assess the preliminary signs of kidney damage in patients who are vulnerable to kidney disease, such as diabetics and those with hypertension. The test also helps the doctor diagnose and treat early kidney damage to prevent the likely occurrence of kidney disease.

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Full Answer

The frequency of undergoing urine microalbumin tests depends on the underlying condition that predisposes an individual to kidney damage, as Mayo Clinic explains. For instance, patients with Type 1 diabetes may undergo the test once each year five years after the initial diagnosis, while those with Type 2 diabetes may undergo the test once each year immediately after diagnosis.

The urine microalbumin test does not involve any special preparations beforehand, which means that the patient is free to eat as usual prior to the test, according to Mayo Clinic. During the test, the doctor obtains a urine sample from the patient and sends the sample to a laboratory for analysis. While a result of below 30 milligrams indicates that the patient does not have kidney disease, a result in the 30 to 300 milligram range means that the kidney disease is in its early stage. Any value above 300 milligrams indicates a more advanced stage of kidney disease.

Prevention of kidney damage in patients with diabetes involves tight glucose control, blood pressure control and smoking cessation, according to The National Kidney Foundation. Patients with albuminuria and kidney damage are treated with ACE inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers, which are drugs that help slow down the progression of diabetic kidney disease.

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