24-Hour Urinary Protein

Clinical definition of the 24-Hour Urine Protein test
Proteins are the "building blocks" of the body. When the kidneys are healthy, no proteins pass into the urine. However, if the kidneys become diseased or damaged, the proteins may appear in the urine. Hence the urine protein test may be used to screen for kidney disease, to monitor kidney function in those already diagnosed with a kidney disease or those who are taking medications that can affect the kidneys.

Why is the 24-Hour Urine Protein test done?
A 24-hour urine protein measures the total amount of protein excreted in urine collected over a 24-hour period. Sometimes, in order to avoid the inconvenience and possible inaccuracy of a 24-hour urine collection, the protein-to-creatinine ratio may be done instead.
Protein-Creatinine Ratio (PCR) - The concentration of protein in the urine is compared to the creatinine level in a spot urine sample. It may be used to monitor persistent proteinuria i.e. presence of an excess of serum proteins in the urine. The protein in the urine often causes the urine to become foamy.

What are the common signs/symptoms when the 24-Hour Urine Protein test is done?
Symptoms of a kidney related disorder

  • Poor appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Lack of concentration
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Swelling or puffiness especially around the eyes or in the face, ankles, hands, feet abdomen wrists, abdomen and thighs
  • Foamy, bloody, or dark-colored Urine
  • Reduced urine output or change in the frequency of urination
  • Discomfort during urination (burning sensation)
  • Mid-back pain
  • Pain below the ribs (location of the kidneys)
  • High blood pressure

Who should do the 24-Hour Urine Protein test (Target population)?
Persons showing the above signs & symptoms of a kidney disorder or those undergoing a treatment for kidney or liver disease.

What should I do before the 24-Hour Urine Protein test?

Specimen type

Specimen collection procedure

Preparatory instructions before the test *


24-hour urine sample

Care must be taken to clean the genitals well before collection.

Follow these steps to get the sample

Day 1- The first morning urine sample on Day 1 must not be collected i.e. bladder must be emptied for the first time.

Note down the exact time of discarding the 1st urine sample.

All urine for the next 24 hours should be collected in the special container provided.

Day 2- collect the first morning urine of Day 2 into the same container, at the same time or within 10 minutes as that noted on the morning of Day 1.

Cap the container. Keep it in the refrigerator or a cool place during the collection period.

No special preparations required.

*Subjects suffering from any illness or on oral or injectable medications are advised to consult their physician prior to requesting any tests or procedures.

How do I interpret my 24-Hour Urine Protein test results?

Reference Range*


24 hours

10-140 mg/24 hours


Spot Urine

1-14 mg/dL


‘*A Reference range is a set of values which helps the healthcare professional to interpret a medical test. It may vary with age, gender, and other factors. Reference ranges may also vary between labs, in value & units depending on instruments used and method of establishment of reference ranges’

Diseases/conditions related to the 24-Hour Urine Protein test

  • Glomerulonephritis
  • Nephrotic syndrome
  • Microalbuminuria or other early signs of diabetic nephropathy
  • Renal tubular diseases including pyelonephritis, Fanconi syndrome, cystinosis, and Wilson's disease
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia
  • Some lymphomas
  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension

Other tests related to the 24-Hour Urine Protein test

  • Urine Routine
  • Albumin
  • Microalbumin
  • Protein Electrophoresis
  • Total Protein

Synonyms : Total Protein- Urine, Urine Protein to Creatinine Ratio (UPCR)
Book Related Tests
  • Urine Routine And Microscopy
  • Urine Creatinine

Read About Related Tests