Microalbuminuria predicts subsequent clinical nephropathy and mortality in diabetic patients. This study was undertaken to determine the usefulness of a new immunochemical urinary dipstick test (Micral-Test, Boehringer Mannheim, GmbH Mannheim, Germany) in identifying urinary albumin concentrations within the microalbuminuric range (urinary albumin concentration 20-200 mg/L). Twenty-four hour urine specimens were collected from 298 consecutive diabetic outpatients. Micral-Test was performed by two laboratory scientists blinded to each other's results and those of radioimmunoassay (RIA) and immunoturbidimetry on the same specimen. When compared with RIA, Micral-Test had an overall sensitivity of 92.2%, specificity of 92.3% and positive predictive value of 86.4%. However, at the threshold value of 20 mg/1 Micral-Test showed false positive results in 37.8% of samples when compared with RIA. Similar results were obtained when Micral-Test was compared with immunoturbidimetry. We conclude that Micral-Test is a useful screening method for the detection of microalbuminuria. We suggest that positive tests be confirmed by a timed urine collection using established methodology and that patients whose Micral-Test is negative be subjected to annual retesting.