Spot urine samples to estimate 24-hour urinary calcium excretion in school-age children

Eur J Pediatr. 2020 Nov;179(11):1673-1681. doi: 10.1007/s00431-020-03662-z. Epub 2020 May 9.


Urinary calcium/creatinine ratio (UCa/Cr) on a single spot urine sample is frequently used in children to evaluate calciuria, but its accuracy to estimate 24-h urinary calcium excretion (24hUCa) has not been properly assessed. We analyzed the correlation between UCa/Cr in various spot samples and 24hUCa among healthy children. A 24-h urine specimen and three spot urine samples (evening, first, and second morning) were collected in a convenience sample of children aged 6 to 16 years (n = 101). Measured 24hUCa was compared with UCa/Cr in each of the three spot samples. The ability of UCa/Cr to discriminate between children with and without hypercalciuria (calciuria > 4 mg/kg/24 h, 1 mmol/kg/24 h) and optimal timing of the spot sample were determined. Eighty-five children completed an adequate 24-h urine collection. Pearson correlation coefficients between the UCa/Cr on the spot sample and 24hUCa were 0.64, 0.71, and 0.52 for the evening, first, and second morning spot samples, respectively. Areas under the ROC curve were 0.90, 0.82, and 0.75, respectively, for the corresponding spot samples.Conclusion: The relatively strong correlation between 24hUCa and UCa/Cr in evening and first morning spot urine samples suggests that these spots could be preferred in clinical practice.Trial registration: , NCT02900261, date of trial registration 14 September 2016. What is Known: •Urinary calcium/creatinine ratio on a single spot urine sample is frequently used as a proxy for 24-h urinary calcium excretion. •Correlation of these indicators, including the best timing for spot urine sampling, has not been properly assessed. What is New: •Relatively strong correlations were found between the calcium/creatinine ratio on a single spot urine sample and 24-h urinary calcium excretion in healthy children. •Evening and first morning spot samples had the highest correlation.

Keywords: Calcium to creatinine ratio; Nephrology; Spot urine sample; Urinary calcium excretion.

MeSH terms

  • Calcium*
  • Calcium, Dietary*
  • Child
  • Creatinine
  • Humans
  • Schools
  • Urine Specimen Collection


  • Calcium, Dietary
  • Creatinine
  • Calcium

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