The 24-hour urine protein test checks how much protein is being spilled into the urine, which can help detect disease. Urine samples are collected in one or more containers over a period of 24 hours. The containers are kept in a cool environment and then sent to a lab for analysis. Specialists then check the urine for protein. The test is simple and noninvasive.
A normal test result shows less than 150 milligrams of protein per day. Test results may vary slightly between laboratories.
Protein in the urine may signify kidney damage or disease. Protein levels may also rise temporarily due to factors such as infection, stress, or excess exercise.
If the protein is caused by kidney damage, the test results will help to determine the extent of that damage. The protein amount can also be used to monitor any disease progression or measure your response to therapy.
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When higher-than-normal amounts of protein are in the urine, it’s called proteinuria. This is often a sign of kidney damage and disease. Occasionally, proteinuria is not a sign of kidney damage. This is especially true for children. Protein levels may be higher during the day than the night. Other factors, such as extreme exercise, may also influence the test results. Urinary protein in normals tends to increase with age, exercise, and standing posture.
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