A 24-hour urine collection is a simple lab test that measures what’s in your urine. The test is used to check kidney function. A 24-hour urine collection is done by collecting your urine in a special container(s) over a full 24-hour period. The container(s) must be kept cool until the urine is returned to the lab.
Urine is made up of water and dissolved chemicals, such as sodium and potassium. It also contains urea, which is made when protein breaks down, and creatinine, which is formed from muscle breakdown. Normally, urine contains specific amounts of these waste products. If these amounts are not within a normal range, or if other substances are present, it may be a sign of a certain disease or condition.
Twenty-four hour urine collection helps diagnose kidney problems. It is often done to see how much creatinine clears through the kidneys. It’s also done to measure protein, hormones, minerals, and other chemical compounds.
Conditions that can cause kidney disease include:
There may be other reasons for your health care provider to recommend 24-hour urine collection.
Twenty-four hour urine collection is a safe, easy test. People can collect urine on their own.
Certain factors or conditions may interfere with the accuracy of a 24-hour urine collection. These factors include:
There may be other risks depending on your specific medical condition. Be sure to discuss any concerns with your health care provider before the procedure.
Based on your medical condition, your health care provider may request other specific preparation.
A 24-hour urine collection may be done on an outpatient basis or during a hospital stay. Procedures may vary depending on your condition and your health care provider's practices.
Generally, a 24-hour urine collection follows this process: