What is Albuminuria?
Albuminuria is the presence of albumin in the urine. Albumin accounts for about one-third of the proteins in the urine. Small amounts of albumin in the urine are associated with renal disease.
Small amounts of albumin (microalbuminuria) may be found in normal individuals, especially runners. It may also be present in persons exposed to extreme cold or persons exposed to psychological stress. Small amounts of albumin may also be seen in pregnancy.
In diabetes mellitus, small amounts of albumin correlate with diabetes-induced renal problems (diabetic nephropathy). Microalbuminuria may also be seen in individuals with impaired glucose tolerance.
How is it diagnosed?
- History: Individuals may have a history of diabetes. Many individuals have no symptoms.
- Physical exam may be normal.
- Tests: Routine urinalysis is usually performed using paper that has been impregnated with a number of different substances in order to produce a chemical reaction (reagents). One of the reagents is used to detect the presence of protein. Tests to rule out diabetes (GTT, two-hour postprandial, random blood glucose), and/or kidney disease (radiographic studies, creatinine, BUN) may be done.
How is it treated?
There is no treatment for albuminuria. Treatment is directed at the underlying/associated medical condition.
What might complicate it?
There are no complications of albuminuria. Any complications are due to the underlying disease.
There is an increased risk of developing diabetes in individuals with microalbuminuria.
Albuminuria is a laboratory finding. Any condition associated with albuminuria must be included in the differential diagnosis.
Internist and endocrinologist.
Last updated 13 June 2011