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Latest Edit: Hector 2014-03-21 (EDT)

See Also Lab Tests

Microalbumin, also known as urine albumin or albumin-to-creatinine ratio, is used as an indicator of complications of diabetes (kindey, heart, or small vessels). Most importantly, it is the first indicator of renal disease.[1]


  • Microalbumin (MA) is the albumin concentration in the urine which is greater than normal, but not detectable with routine protein testing.
  • Only small amounts of albumin are normally filtered through the renal glomeruli of the kidney, and that quantity can be subsequently reabsorbed by the renal tubules.
  • The presence of microalbumin in the urine occurs when the glomerular permeability of albumin exceeds the tubular reabsorption capability, and is therefore an early indication of renal disease.
  • Testing for microalbumin is generally done annually after a diagnosis of diabetes or hypertension.

Patient Preparation

  • No fasting required.
  • A random, timed, overnight or 24-hour urine sample is required.
  • Factors which can cause increased levels
  • Factors which can cause decreased levels
  • None noted

Clinical Implications

High levels indicate:

Associated Tests


  1. Pagana Kathleen D, Pagana Timothy J (2006) Mosby's Manual of Diagnostic and Laboratory Tests, Mosby.