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  1. Dr. Jordan Weinstein
  2. Verified UKidney Expert
  3. General Nephrology Questions
  4. Sunday, 11 December 2011
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What exactly is microalbuminuria? Should we test in all patients?
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Microalbuminuria refers to tiny quantities of albumin in the urine. Usually these quantities are below the limits of detection of conventional urine dipsticks. Finding this urinary abnormality means different things in different patients. In patients without any risk factors for cardiovascular disease, finding microalbuminuria might mean only a very mild renal abnormality has been detected without much clinical significance.

However, in patients with risk factors for vascular disease (hypertension, diabetes, hyperlipidemia), there is a large body of evidence to suggest that microalbuminuria is associated with increased cardiovascular risk. Therefore, one might treat patients with this finding and with risk for vascular disease as high risk when considering therapy and targets of these therapies.

Despite the known associations, mass screening is probably only indicated in patients with diabetes and not for general vascular risk stratification.
Responses (8)
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Great posts. Thanks Dr. Weinstein:)
  1. more than a month ago
  2. General Nephrology Questions
  3. # 1
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24 hour urines are useful for quantifying large amounts of protein (>1-2 g/day), though you can estimate this with a albumin:creatinine ratio as well. The one issue to remember is that MAU only measures albumin. If you want to test for non-albumin protein (like in myeloma), then either perform a urine protein electrophoresis or if there is large disparity between and albumin and protein to creatinine ratio, this suggests a significant non-albumin protein is present.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. General Nephrology Questions
  3. # 3
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This clears up an topic that was pretty confusing to me. Do we need to do 24 hr urine any longer?
  1. more than a month ago
  2. General Nephrology Questions
  3. # 4
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I would like a simple post on microhematuria
  1. more than a month ago
  2. General Nephrology Questions
  3. # 5
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Great post. Thanks Dr. Weinstein
  1. more than a month ago
  2. General Nephrology Questions
  3. # 6
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Very helpful, thanks!
  1. more than a month ago
  2. General Nephrology Questions
  3. # 7
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