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Urea nitrogen urine test

Urine urea nitrogen

 

Urine urea nitrogen is a test that measures the amount of urea in the urine. Urea nitrogen is a waste product resulting from the breakdown of protein in the body.

How the Test is Performed

 

A 24-hour urine sample is often needed. You will need to collect your urine over 24 hours. Your health care provider will tell you how to do this. Follow instructions exactly to ensure accurate results.

 

How to Prepare for the Test

 

No special preparation is needed.

 

How the Test will Feel

 

The test involves only normal urination. There is no discomfort.

 

Why the Test is Performed

 

This test is mainly used to check a person's protein balance and the amount of food protein needed by severely ill people. It is also used to determine how much protein a person takes in.

Urea is excreted by the kidneys. The test measures the amount of urea the kidneys excrete. The result can show how well the kidneys are working.

 

Normal Results

 

Normal values range from 12 to 20 grams per 24 hours.

Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Some labs use different measurements or test different samples. Talk to your provider about the meaning of your specific test results.

 

What Abnormal Results Mean

 

Low levels usually indicate:

  • Kidney problems
  • Malnutrition (inadequate protein in diet)

High levels usually indicate:

  • Increased protein breakdown in the body
  • Too much protein intake

 

Risks

 

There are no risks with this test.

 

 

References

Inker LA, Fan L, Levey AS. Assessment of renal function. In: Jonson RJ, Feehally J, Floege J. Comprehensive Clinical Nephrology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2015:chap 3.

Landry DW, Bazari H. Approach to the patient with renal disease. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 114.

McPherson RA, Ben-Ezra J. Basic examination of urine. In: McPherson RA, Pincus MR, eds. Henry's Clinical Diagnosis and Management by Laboratory Methods. 22nd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 28.

 
  • Female urinary tract

    Female urinary tract - illustration

    The female and male urinary tracts are relatively the same except for the length of the urethra.

    Female urinary tract

    illustration

  • Male urinary tract

    Male urinary tract - illustration

    The male and female urinary tracts are relatively the same except for the length of the urethra.

    Male urinary tract

    illustration

    • Female urinary tract

      Female urinary tract - illustration

      The female and male urinary tracts are relatively the same except for the length of the urethra.

      Female urinary tract

      illustration

    • Male urinary tract

      Male urinary tract - illustration

      The male and female urinary tracts are relatively the same except for the length of the urethra.

      Male urinary tract

      illustration

    A Closer Look

     

    Talking to your MD

     

      Self Care

       

        Tests for Urea nitrogen urine test

         

         

        Review Date: 8/29/2015

        Reviewed By: Laura J. Martin, MD, MPH, ABIM Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Hospice and Palliative Medicine, Atlanta, GA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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