24-hour urine protein measures the amount of protein released in urine over a 24-hour period.
A 24-hour urine sample is needed:
For an infant, thoroughly wash the area around the urethra. Open a urine collection bag (a plastic bag with an adhesive paper on one end), and place it on the infant. For males, place the entire penis in the bag and attach the adhesive to the skin. For females, place the bag over the labia. Diaper as usual over the secured bag.
This procedure may take a couple of attempts -- lively infants can move the bag, causing the urine to be absorbed by the diaper. The infant should be checked frequently and the bag changed after the infant has urinated into the bag. Drain the urine from the bag into the container provided by your health care provider.
Deliver it to the laboratory or your health care provider as soon as possible upon completion.
Your health care provider will tell you, if needed, to stop taking any medicines that may interfere with the test results. Make sure your health care provider knows about all medications, herbs, vitamins, and supplements you are taking.
The following may also affect test results:
The test involves only normal urination, and there is no discomfort.
Your doctor may order this test if blood, urine, or imaging tests find signs of damage to kidney function.
To avoid a 24-hour urine collection, your doctor may be able to order a test that is done on just one urine sample (protein-to-creatinine ratio).
The normal value is less than 150 milligrams per day or less than 10 milligrams per deciliter of urine.
The examples above are common measurements for results of these tests. Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Some labs use different measurements or test different samples. Talk to your doctor about the meaning of your specific test results.
Abnormal results may be due to:
Healthy people may have higher than normal urine protein levels after strenuous exercise or when they are dehydrated. Some foods may affect urine protein levels.
The test involves normal urination and there are no risks.
Urine protein - 24 hour
Israni AK, Kasiske BL. Laboratory assessment of kidney disease: glomerular filtration rate, urinalysis, and proteinuria. In: Teal MW, Chertow GM, Marsden PA, Skorecki K, Yu ASL, Brenner BM, eds. Brenner & Rector's The Kidney. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 25.
McPherson RA, Ben-Ezra J. Basic examination of urine. In: McPherson RA, Pincus MR, eds. Henry's Clinical Diagnosis and Management by Laboratory Methods. 22nd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 28.
Updated by: Laura J. Martin, MD, MPH, ABIM Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Hospice and Palliative Medicine, Atlanta, GA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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