The value of the urinary dipstick in the assessment of proteinuria was investigated in a study correlating laboratory measurements of protein and albumin against the dipstick protein in the same samples of urine; 94 patients (100 admissions) were studied at the Royal Air Force Renal Unit, each patient collecting two 24-h urine samples. Along with each 24-h sample, 10-ml aliquots of urine were obtained at 3 designated times during the day for both ward dipstick testing and laboratory assay; + or more on the dipstick correlated with abnormal proteinuria (greater than or equal to 150 mg/24 h) in 88% of cases, whilst trace values straddled the level of significant proteinuria. Further differentiation of trace was possible by repeat testing during the day. The subsequent presence of a dipstick negative during that day correlated with normality in all but 5% of cases. In order to ensure detection of renal disease presenting as isolated orthostatic proteinuria, assay of the mid-morning sample is recommended.