Urine protein; Albumin - urine; Urine albumin; Proteinuria; Albuminuria
The urine protein dipstick test measures the presence of proteins, such as albumin, in a urine sample.
Albumin and protein can also be measured using a blood test.
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How the Test is Performed
After you provide a urine sample, it is tested. The health care provider uses a dipstick made with a color-sensitive pad. The color change on the dipstick tells the provider the level of protein in your urine.
Dye (contrast media) if you have a radiology scan within 3 days before the urine test
Fluid from the vagina that gets into the urine
Urinary tract infection
How the Test Will Feel
The test only involves normal urination. There is no discomfort.
Why the Test is Performed
This test is most often done when your provider suspects you have kidney disease. It may be used as a screening test.
Although small amounts of protein are normally in urine, a routine dipstick test may not detect them. A urine microalbumin test can be performed to detect small amounts of albumin in the urine that may not be detected on dipstick testing. If the kidney is diseased, proteins may be detected on a dipstick test, even if blood protein levels are normal.
For a random urine sample, normal values are 0 to 14 mg/dL.
For a 24-hour urine collection, the normal value is less than 80 mg per 24 hours.
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 provider about the meaning of your specific test results.
What Abnormal Results Mean
Larger amounts of protein in the urine may be due to:
David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.