The albumin/creatinine ratio measures the amount of albumin present in the urine. It tests for kidney disease and checks the severity of the condition.
Albumin is a protein that our body needs for tissue growth and for repairing broken tissues. Albumin is not normally found in urine, although it is present in the blood. If your kidneys are not working properly, some amount of albumin can also pass into the urine. The amount of albumin in the urine can vary at different times of the day.
Creatinine, on the other hand, is normally a waste product from muscle breakdown. It is excreted in the urine at a steady rate. The amount of creatinine present in the urine gives an idea of its normal concentration in the urine, which can act as a standard regarding the severity of albumin secretion. This test gives more accurate results about the amount of albumin present in the urine than the albumin test.
A small amount of albumin in the urine may indicate kidney disease. To treat kidney disease properly, it is necessary to test it on time so that future complications can be avoided.
Kidney failure can be caused not only by kidney diseases but also by diseases occurring in other parts of the body, such as lupus and diabetes. In lupus, the immune system starts attacking the body’s own tissues.
Why is the albumin/creatinine ratio done?
This test is done to check for kidney disease caused by diabetes. People whose age is more than twelve years and who are suffering from diabetes should get this test done every year.
If you have high blood pressure, your doctor may ask you to get this test done from time to time.
How to prepare the albumin/creatinine ratio test?
No special preparation is required for this test. However, do not do excessive physical exercise before the test, as this may affect the test results.
Also, tell the doctor if you are taking any vitamins, supplements, medicines, or any other addictive substances.
How is the albumin/creatinine ratio calculated?
The doctor may ask you to collect a 24-hour urine sample or a urine sample at any time of the day. Taking samples at any time of the day is easier than taking samples 24 hours a day and is also sufficient for testing.
In this process, you will be given a special container to collect the sample. Below is the correct way to collect the sample:
- Wash your hands.
- Clean your genital area with a clean cloth. Women should completely clean the vagina from front to back and men should clean the tip of the penis.
- Pee into the container leaving a few drops of urine, and take urine mid-stream.
- Close the container and wash your hands.
A mid-stream urine sample means that you do not collect the first and last drop of urine. This way the urine sample is not at risk of contamination from bacteria on your hands or the skin around the bladder (a tube that carries urine out of the body).
24-hour urine sample
To collect a 24-hour urine sample, you will need to collect a full day’s urine in one container. It is better if you start taking urine samples in the morning. All the samples for the next 24 hours are taken in a container and kept in the refrigerator. Take the container of the sample to the lab according to the instructions provided.
Albumin/creatinine ratio results and normal range
The results of this test may vary according to your age, gender, health status, and other factors
High albumin/creatinine ratio:
A normal increase is considered microalbuminuria, indicating the onset of kidney disease. High levels of albumin in the urine can be seen in severe kidney disease.
However, microalbuminuria can also be caused by:
- Cardiovascular disease
- High blood pressure
- Urinary bleeding
- Hemoglobinuria (detection of hemoglobin, a protein present in red blood cells, in the urine)
- Myoglobinuria (detection of myoglobin, a muscle protein, in the urine)
- Apart from this, urinary infection, blood in urine, and an imbalance of acid-base in the blood can also lead to microalbuminuria
The most common levels regarding high levels of Albumin/Creatinine ratio are :
- Albumin/Creatinine ratio 30 mg/g creat
- Albumin/Creatinine ratio 31 mg/g creat
- Albumin/Creatinine ratio 32 mg/g creat
- Albumin/Creatinine ratio 33 mg/g creat
- Albumin/Creatinine ratio 34 mg/g, 35 mg/g, and 36 mg/g creat