Microalbumin is the measurement of albumin (a protein) in urine at concentrations below the sensitivity of dipstick testing for total protein performed in a routine urinalysis. Microalbuminuria is an important indicator of deteriorating renal function.
The value of testing microalbumin levels is well established in people with diabetes1 because over time, high glucose levels damage small vessels in the kidneys. Twenty percent to 40% of type II diabetics with sustained microalbuminuria will progress to overt kidney disease.
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends that routine urinalysis be performed annually on adults with diabetes.1 If the urinalysis is negative for protein, microalbumin measurement is recommended, in order to catch kidney disease at an earlier stage.
Fasting is not required. Physical exercise during the previous 24 hours can cause a transient elevation in microalbumin. Other variables, including infection, fever, congestive heart failure, and marked hypertension, can also result in increased microalbumin levels.
- American Diabetes Association. Position Statement: Diabetic Nephropathy. Diabetes Care. 1997; 20(50):S24-S27.