Protein electrophoresis - urine
A urine protein electrophoresis is a test that estimates how many various proteins you have in your urine.
Urine protein electrophoresis; UPEP
Why the Test is Performed
Protein is not normally found in large quantities in the urine. However, the presence of protein in the urine can indicate a multitude of disorders.
Urine protein is roughly divided into urine albumin and globulins. Urine protein electrophoresis may be recommended to help determine the cause of protein in the urine, or as a screening test to measure the various proteins in urine.
How the Test is Performed
Child or adult:
Collect a "clean-catch" (midstream) urine sample. To obtain a clean-catch sample, men or boys should wipe clean the head of the penis. Women or girls should wash the area between the labia (lips of the vagina) with soapy water and rinse well.
As you start to urinate, allow a small amount to fall into the toilet bowl. This clears the urethra -- the tube that carries urine from the bladder and opens to the outside. Then, in a clean container, catch about 1 to 2 ounces of urine, and remove the container from the urine stream. Give the container to the health care provider or assistant.
For an infant:
Thoroughly wash the area around the opening of the urethra. Open a urine collection bag (a plastic bag with an adhesive paper on one end), and place it on your infant. For males, the entire penis can be placed in the bag and the adhesive attached to the skin. For females, the bag is placed over the labia. Place a diaper over the infant (bag and all).
Check your baby frequently and remove the bag after the infant has urinated into it. For active infants, this procedure may take a couple of attempts -- lively infants can displace the bag, causing an inability to obtain the sample. The urine is drained into a container for transport back to the health care provider.
The laboratory specialist will place the urine sample on special paper and apply an electric current. The various proteins move and form bands that reveal the general amounts of each protein.
How to Prepare for the Test
Collection of the first morning urine, which is the most concentrated, may be advised. The health care provider may advise you to stop taking certain medicines that could interfere with the test.
How the Test Will Feel
This test involves only normal urination, and there is no discomfort.
There are no risks associated with this test.
Drugs that can affect the measurement of proteins include chlorpromazine, corticosteroids, isoniazid, neomycin, phenacemide, salicylates, sulfonamides, and tolbutamide. Never stop taking any medication without consulting your health care provider.
No significant amount of globulins in the urine.
Urine albumin is less than 50 mg/dL.
What Abnormal Results Mean
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