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Alternative Names Return to topWater loading test; Water deprivation test
Definition Return to top
A urine concentration test measures the ability of the kidneys to conserve or excrete water appropriately.
How the Test is Performed Return to top
For this test, the specific gravity of urine is measured before and after one or more of the following:
The test requires a clean-catch urine sample.
To obtain a clean-catch sample, men or boys should clean the head of the penis. Women or girls need to wash the area between the 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 to clear the urethra of contaminants. Then, put a clean container under your urine stream and catch 1 to 2 ounces of urine. Remove the container from the urine stream. Cap and mark the container and give it to the health care provider or assistant.
For infants, thoroughly wash the area around the urethra. Open a urine collection bag (a plastic bag with an adhesive paper on one end), and place it on the infant. For boys, the entire penis can be placed in the bag and the adhesive attached to the skin. For girls, the bag is placed over the labia. Diaper as usual over the secured bag.
This procedure may take a couple of attempts -- lively infants can displace the bag. The infant should be checked frequently and the bag changed after the infant has urinated into the bag. The urine is drained into the container for transport to the laboratory.
How to Prepare for the Test Return to top
Eat a normal, balanced diet for several days before the test. Your health care provider will give you instructions for water loading or water deprivation.
Your health care provider will instruct you, if necessary, to discontinue drugs that may interfere with the test. Drugs that can affect measurements include dextran and sucrose, and x-ray contrast medium (dye) received within 3 days.
How the Test Will Feel Return to top
The test involves only normal urination, and there is no discomfort.
Why the Test is Performed Return to top
This test is most often done if your doctor suspects diabetes insipidus. The test can help differentiate it from nephrogenic diabetes insipidus.
This test may also be done if you have signs of SIADH (syndrome of inappropriate ADH).
Normal Results Return to top
In general, normal values are as follows:
Note: Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Talk to your doctor about the meaning of your specific test results.
What Abnormal Results Mean Return to top
Increased urine concentration may indicate: