Detection of urinary albumin

Adv Chronic Kidney Dis. 2005 Apr;12(2):170-6. doi: 10.1053/j.ackd.2005.01.012.


Microalbuminuria is an important clinical marker in patients with diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The concentration of albumin in urine has traditionally been measured by semiquantitative dipsticks or by various quantitative immunochemical methods such as immunonephelometry, immunoturbidimetry, and radioimmunoassay. However, until recently, urinary albumin not reabsorbed by proximal tubular cells was assumed to be excreted intact. Studies have now revealed that the nature of urinary albumin is complex and is excreted as a mixture of intact albumin, albumin-derived peptides that are not detected by routine dipstick and antibody-based tests, and a species of intact albumin (immunounreactive albumin), also not detected by dipstick and antibody-based tests. A new test, Accumin, based on high-performance liquid chromatography analysis, is able to detect all the immunoreactive intact albumin and immunounreactive intact albumin (total intact albumin) in urine. The advantage in the use of Accumin over a conventional dipstick test or antibody-based laboratory method for detecting microalbuminuria is that false negatives are reduced and a relatively earlier diagnosis of incipient kidney disease can be achieved. The introduction of Accumin has, therefore, highlighted the need for a global standard in the detection and measurement of microalbuminuria. By detecting all of the immunoreactive and immunounreactive intact albumin in urine, Accumin has virtually invalidated the use of dye and immunologically-based dipstick tests and immunologically-based laboratory methods in screening for microalbuminuria in diabetic patients and in identifying microalbuminuria as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Albuminuria / diagnosis*
  • Chromatography, Liquid / methods*
  • Diagnostic Techniques, Urological / instrumentation*
  • Humans
  • Predictive Value of Tests