Medical Encyclopedia


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Contents of this page:


Urine sample
Urine sample
Aminoaciduria urine test
Aminoaciduria urine test

Alternative Names    Return to top

Amino acids - urine; Urine amino acids

Definition    Return to top

Aminoaciduria is an abnormal amount of amino acids in the urine. Amino acids are the building blocks for proteins in the body.

This article discusses the test used to look for increased amounts of amino acids in the urine.

See also:

How the Test is Performed    Return to top

A clean-catch urine sample is needed. This is often done at your doctor's office or health clinic.

How to Prepare for the Test    Return to top

No special preparations are necessary. Make sure your doctor knows about all the medicines you or your child are taking or have recently used. If this test is being done on an infant who is breast-feeding, make sure the health care provider knows what medicines the nursing mother is taking.

How the Test Will Feel    Return to top

The test involves only normal urination.

Why the Test is Performed    Return to top

This test is done to measure amino acid levels in the urine. There are many different types of amino acids. It is common for some of each kind to be found in the urine, but increased levels of individual amino acids can be a sign of an inborn error of metabolism.

Normal Results    Return to top

The specific value is measured in micromoles per deciliter (micromol/dL).

What Abnormal Results Mean    Return to top

Increased total urine amino acids may be due to:

Considerations    Return to top

Failure to have the urine sample promptly evaluated in the laboratory alters the results of the test.

This test is ineffective if the baby is under 6 weeks old and has not been fed dietary protein in the last 48 hours.

Urine chromatography is necessary to accurately measure increased levels of specific amino acids.

Screening infants for increased levels of amino acids can lead to early diagnosis of an inborn error of metabolism. If the condition is promptly treated, complications such as severe mental retardation may be prevented.

Update Date: 6/20/2009

Updated by: Frank A. Greco, M.D., Ph.D., Director, Biophysical Laboratory, The Lahey Clinic, Burlington, MA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

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