Microalbuminuria is the persistent occurrence of small amounts of albumin in the urine that have exceeded normal standards. Albumin is a normal protein in the blood and has important physiological functions. In urine, albumin content is very low, 24-hour urinary albumin quantity is not more than 30 mg. If excessive albumin persists in the urine, it often indicates that the excretion function of the kidney is in trouble.
Because albuminuria occurs at a very early stage of the disease, routine or 24-hour urinary protein quantitative examination often fails to detect problems, so it is easy to be ignored. At this time, it is necessary to rely on 24-hour urinary albumin quantitative examination. 24-hour urinary albumin quantification is an early sensitive index for detecting abnormal renal excretion function.
However, the 24-hour abnormal urinary albumin does not necessarily indicate a kidney problem. Owing to diet and exercise, excessive albumin occasionally occurs in the urine of normal people. It is very important to diagnose albuminuria that albuminuria occurs repeatedly or continuously. At present, it is believed that microalbuminuria can be diagnosed if three 24-hour urinary albuminuria measurements are made within half a year, at least one month apart, and two values are in the range of 30-300 mg/24h.
Microalbuminuria is not the only manifestation of diabetic nephropathy. Vigorous exercise, pregnancy, urinary tract infection, ketoacidosis, hypertension, heart failure and so on can cause temporary or sustained impairment of the excretion function of the kidney. Microalbuminuria can only be diagnosed in the early stage of diabetic nephropathy after eliminating the above reasons.
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