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Proteinuria : Definition, Mechanisms and How to evaluate

Saturday, September 29th 2012. | General

Proteinuria Definition

Proteinuria is the presence of protein in the urine, which contain only a very small amount to normal (less than 50 milligrams per 24 h). C

ike the presence of blood in the urine (hematuria), proteinuria is most often found during routine medical visits (schools, universities, occupational medicine, military, pregnancy, vaccination …), by urine dipsticks, among people are complaining about nothing (asymptomatic).

Proteinuria may be due to various causes. When abundant (greater than 3 g per 24 h), it is most often due to disease of the renal glomerulus. Is less important when it can be linked with other parts of the affected kidney. In all cases, proteinuria is, without exception, witnessed an anomaly or kidney disease, and a balance is needed.


Proteinuria is measured in grams (g) or milligrams (mg) per liter of urine, or better, per day (24 hours). This last result requires a precise collection of urine over 24 hours. There is a physiological proteinuria of 150 mg per 24 hours in adults.

We speak of proteinuria permanent if it is found at each dosage; intermittent proteinuria if it disappears at certain times of the day or a balance sheet to another several weeks apart.

Most of the time, proteinuria is discovered no sign associated. When abundant, proteinuria may be accompanied by edema of the face and limbs and a decrease in protein levels in the blood.

Proteinuria Mechanisms

There are four types of mechanisms underlying proteinuria:

- Impaired glomerular membrane (filter portion of the kidney);

- A change in renal blood flow (fever, stress, hypothermia, heart failure …)

- A urinary tract infection

- A decrease in reabsorption of proteins by tubes (conduits urine after filter).

How to evaluate?

The dipstick : urine is collected in a clean and dry container.Reading is done after one minute on a color scale. The strip is more sensitive to albumin and other proteins. Urine alkaline or highly concentrated can give a false positive result.

The 24-hour proteinuria : it requires a precise collection of all urine a day. It is a fairer reflection of the importance of urinary protein loss. Urinary tract infection or hematuria abundant can distort the result. You must throw the first morning urine collection and then collect all urine in a plastic bottle, including the first urination of the morning.

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