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Adv Chronic Kidney Dis. 2011 Jul;18(4):243-8. doi: 10.1053/j.ackd.2011.03.002.

Assessment of proteinuria.

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Division of Nephrology, Tufts Medical Center, Boston, MA 02111, USA.


Proteinuria is a strong predictor of adverse cardiovascular and kidney events, and an accurate assessment of proteinuria is important for the evaluation and management of CKD. Total urinary protein can be assessed using dipstick, precipitation, and electrophoresis methods. Urinary albumin, the predominant urinary protein in most proteinuric kidney diseases, can be assessed using an albumin-specific dipstick, immunochemical techniques, and size-exclusion high-performance liquid chromatography. Urine albumin may be immune-reactive, immune-unreactive, fragmented, and biochemically modified, and laboratory techniques have variable abilities to detect different types of albumin. Urine specimen for proteinuria assessment can either be obtained from a timed-collection or a spot urine sample. Spot urine protein- or albumin-to-creatinine ratios are preferred to a 24-hour urine sample in routine practice. Assessment of albuminuria rather than proteinuria is more clinically meaningful in patients with diabetic kidney disease, and proteinuria and albuminuria assessments both have a role in nondiabetic kidney disease and in general population screening. As measurement and sampling procedures for proteinuria assessment have yet not been standardized, it is important for physicians to be aware of different types of urinary proteins, albumins, laboratory techniques, and urine sampling methods.

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