A urine protein test is used to detect the presence of protein in a person's urine.
Who is a candidate for the test?
A test for protein in urine is done when a person is suspected of having:
Pregnant women are routinely tested for protein in the urine during prenatal visits to the healthcare provider. Protein in the urine during pregnancy may indicate preeclampsia, a serious condition that can cause high blood pressure and seizures in the mother. For insurance or other physicals like when starting a new job
How is the test performed?
There are 4 ways to check for urine protein:
a urinalysis by a stick put into the urine sample,
a random urine specimen that looks for minute amounts of protein (called "micro"albumin testing),
a random urine specimen that looks for large amount of protein in the urine ("macro"albumin), and
by 24 hour urine collections.
For the urinalysis or spot testing, a person is asked to supply a single, small urine sample.
First, the area around the urethra should be washed. Then, the person should:
The container should be covered and delivered to the health care provider for testing. The sample is usually the first urine of the day. Sometimes a 24-hour urine collection is needed for more accurate results. In this process, a person collects all the urine he or she voids during an entire 24-hour period.
In general, this schedule is followed:
Often, urinary protein and several other substances are measured at the same time in a screening test known as urinalysis.
What is involved in preparation for the test?
A person should request specific instructions from his or her health care provider.
What do the test results mean?
Normally, there should be no protein detected in the urine. The presence of protein may indicate:
Tabers Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary, F.A.Davis, 1993
Illustrated Guide to Diagnostic Tests, Springhouse, 1998
Mosby's Manual of Diagnostic and Laboratory Tests, Kathleen Pagana and Timothy Pagana, 1998