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Microalbumin: Creatinine Ratio, Random Urine

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Albumin is a protein that should remain in the bloodstream. A healthy kidney is responsible for removing waste products from the blood. Damaged kidneys can no longer filter out these waste products, so they remain in the blood. This is how albumin enters the kidney and leaks into urine, a condition called microalbuminuria.

The urine microablumin test detects albumin, called microalbumin in small quantities, and uncovers important information regarding kidney health. An elevated microalbumin level is usually the first indication of kidney damage. The test is recommended yearly for individuals who suffer from type 1 and type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure because the conditions are known to damage the kidneys. High levels require periodic follow-up testing to watch for kidney damage.

It is important to catch microalbuminuria early before it becomes macroalbuminuria, which occurs when larger amounts of protein and albumin leak into the urine. In this way the microalbumin test may help prevent further kidney damage and chronic kidney disease.

Some preparation for this test is required, as certain drugs may affect the outcome. Taking aspirin, antibiotics or corticosteroids can cause inconclusive test results. Exercising just before the test or taking the test while menstruating can also affect the urine sample.

If the microalbumin urine test indicates kidney damage, you should follow up with a creatinine blood and urine test to check kidney function and discuss treatment options with a health-care professional.