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Urine Protein 24-Hours Test

Last updated July 23, 2019

Approved by: Krish Tangella MD, MBA, FCAP

Jan Friml

The Urine Protein 24-Hours Test detects and measures the total amount of protein in urine, collected over a period of 24 hours, and is a good indicator of proper kidney functioning in the human body.

What are the other Names for this Test? (Equivalent Terms)

  • 24-Hour Urine Protein Test
  • Urine Total Protein for 24-Hours Test

What is Urine Protein 24-Hours Test? (Background Information)

  • Blood proteins: 60% of the protein found in the blood is albumin (a simple water-soluble protein) that is produced by the liver. Globulins (a group of blood serum proteins, soluble in salt solutions) constitute rest of the 40%
  • The Urine Protein 24-Hours Test detects and measures the total amount of protein in urine, collected over a period of 24 hours, and is a good indicator of proper kidney functioning in the human body. Even if traceable amounts of proteins are found in the urine; then, it could mean that either the kidneys are damaged, or the kidneys are not efficient enough
  • Proteinuria: Abnormal levels of protein in the urine, termed proteinuria, are often due to chronic diseases, like diabetes and hypertension. A malignant condition, known as multiple myeloma, causes excessive protein production in the body, which in turn can cause serious damage to the kidneys

What are the Clinical Indications for performing the Urine Protein 24-Hours Test?

The main reason for performing the Urine Protein 24-Hours Test is to assess an individual’s kidney condition and to analyze if it is functioning properly.  Additionally, it may be performed in the following settings:

  • In children, if there is evidence that a dipstickurine test (a screening test for urine protein that is performed using a chemically treated strip of paper), shows the presence of protein consistently.
  • Those suffering from a diseased kidney
  • As part of a regular screening process on patients, who are undertaking certain medications, which might inadvertently affect their kidneys
  • On pregnant women to investigate a suspicion of urinary tract infection
  • During hospital admission, as part of a routine medical screening process

How is the Specimen Collected for Urine Protein 24-Hours Test?

Sample required: Urine

Process:Sample from 24-hour urine collection

Preparation required: None

What is the Significance of the Urine Protein 24-Hours Test Result?

  • All types of stress, strenuous exercises, certain drug therapies or even infections, are known to temporarily elevate the presence of proteins in urine
  • However, the detection of proteins in urine is a potential warning signal that the kidneys could be diseased. It calls forth for, immediate further investigation
  • Proteinuria may indicate conditions, such as hypertension, multiple myeloma, diabetes, urinary tract infection, or it may be due to side effect of certain medications. The presence of proteinuria indicates impaired kidneys function

The laboratory test results are NOT to be interpreted as results of a "stand-alone" test. The test results have to be interpreted after correlating with suitable clinical findings and additional supplemental tests/information. Your healthcare providers will explain the meaning of your tests results, based on the overall clinical scenario.

Additional and Relevant Useful Information:

  • A dipstick test for urine protein is performed on random urine sample,in order to detect presence of proteins in the urine. A dipstick test does not indicate the total amount of protein. Hence,a dipstick test is called a qualitative test
  • A 24-Hour Urine Protein Test measures the total amount of protein that is lost in urine, due to a defective kidney function. Hence, this test is called a quantitative urine protein test

Certain medications that you may be currently taking may influence the outcome of the test. Hence, it is important to inform your healthcare provider, the complete list of medications (including any herbal supplements) you are currently taking. This will help the healthcare provider interpret your test results more accurately and avoid unnecessary chances of a misdiagnosis.

References and Information Sources used for the Article:

Reviewed and Approved by a member of the DoveMed Editorial Board
First uploaded: Sept. 7, 2013
Last updated: July 23, 2019