Urine Albumin Measurements in Clinical Diagnostics

Jesse C. Seegmiller, Lorin M. Bachmann

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Measurement of urine albumin is critical for diagnosis, risk classification, and monitoring of chronic kidney disease (CKD). Guidelines recommend clinical decision cutoffs for the urine albumin-to-creatinine ratio (ACR) of 30 and 300 mg/g (3 and 30 mg/mmol). However, differences among manufacturers’ routine urine albumin measurement procedures have been found to exceed 40%, suggesting CKD diagnosis and risk classification may vary depending upon the specific measurement procedure implemented in the laboratory. CONTENT: This review discusses urine albumin pathophysiology and clinical practice guideline recommendations for CKD. The review also provides recommendations for urine specimen collection and storage, and results reporting for the ACR. Recent advances in measurement techniques and development of reference systems intended to facilitate standardization of urine albumin measurements are reviewed. SUMMARY: Urine albumin is an important measurement procedure used for diagnosis, risk classification, and management of CKD. Urine albumin results should be reported as the ACR using quantitative measurement procedures. Random urine collections used for albuminuria screening should be followed by confirmation with first morning void collections to reduce variation and increase diagnostic accuracy for urine albumin measurement. Most measurement procedures utilize immunoturbidimetric or immuno-nephelometric techniques. However, results vary significantly among measurement procedures, potentially resulting in differences in classification or risk assessment for CKD. The National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) and other laboratories are developing reference systems, including liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry candidate reference measurement procedures and reference materials, to enable standardization of routine measurement procedures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)382-391
Number of pages10
JournalClinical chemistry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2024

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© Association for Diagnostics & Laboratory Medicine 2024. All rights reserved.


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