Urine microalbumin is a laboratory test that measures the amount of a protein called albumin in the urine. Albumin is a protein found in blood and urine that helps to keep fluid from leaking out of blood vessels. Small amounts of albumin may be present in urine normally, but increased levels can be a sign of kidney damage.
What is it used for:
The urine microalbumin test is used to detect early signs of kidney damage in people with diabetes, high blood pressure, or other conditions that can affect kidney function. It can also be used to monitor kidney function in people with known kidney disease.
Increased levels of albumin in the urine may not cause any symptoms. However, if kidney damage progresses, symptoms may include swelling in the legs, ankles, feet, or face, decreased urine output, fatigue, and shortness of breath.
Risk factors for increased albumin in the urine include diabetes, high blood pressure, smoking, obesity, and a family history of kidney disease. Certain medications, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), can also increase albumin levels in the urine.
Who needs it:
The urine microalbumin test is recommended for people with diabetes, high blood pressure, and other conditions that can affect kidney function. It may also be recommended for people with a family history of kidney disease, or those who have been exposed to certain medications or toxins that can damage the kidneys.
The normal ranges: < 30 mg/g
*Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different labs. Some labs use different measurements or may test different specimens. Talk to your provider about your test results.