The urinary excretion of albumin greater than or equal to 30mg/day is defined as Microalbuminuria.
In a healthy person, a minimal amount of albumin constitutes the total protein in the urine. However, most of the albumin is reabsorbed in the proximal convoluted tubules of the Kidney. So less than 1 mg/dL of albumin appears in the urine.
Any damages or changes in the Glomerular membrane permeability of the Kidneys, glomerular hypertension and lesser tubular resorption leads to increased protein output in the urine.
The Glomerular Basement Membrane is porous and they are too small to permit the passage of the protein. So, when there is a leak in the glomerular filtration barrier, an increased amount of albumin is secreted into the urine.
Signs of Microalbuminuria:
There might be no noticeable signs or symptoms.
When the functioning of the Kidney declines and large amounts of proteins are passing out through the urine – swelling of the hands, feet, abdomen and face (oedema) occurs.
A permanent kidney damage results if the albuminuria progresses further.
Microalbumin tests are ordered by the doctor when,
● The kidneys are at risk of damage due to cardiovascular disease (CVD)
● There is a need to assess the early sign of diabetic nephropathy
Microalbuminuria is not specific for CVD and Diabetes.
It may also be associated with some immune disorders, abnormalities in some lipids, vigorous exercise, injuries in lower urinary tract, hematuria, dehydration etc.,
Microalbuminuria is diagnosed based on the laboratory urine tests.
Albumin excretion in the urine is most commonly tested along with creatinine in case of the Kidney function.
It is very important that we shouldn’t confuse serum albumin test with urine albumin test as the serum albumin test gives different information about potential health problems than the urine albumin tests.
Immunoturbidimetry and Immunoassay techniques are used to estimate microalbuminuria.
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