How Does an ACR Test Help in Detecting Kidney Diseases?


Medically reviewed by

Bajaj Finserv Health

Health Tests

4 min read

Key Takeaways

  • An ACR test measures the albumin to creatinine ratio in your blood
  • There are 3 types of urine ACR tests that doctors may prescribe
  • Urine ACR test helps you determine early and advanced kidney disease

An ACR test is a routine urine test to measure the albumin to creatinine ratio in your blood. Albumin is a protein that is usually found in human blood. In normal conditions, your urine may secrete a small amount of albumin, less than 30 mg/g [1]. However, if the level of this protein increases in your urine, it can cause albuminuria, a kidney disease, and high blood pressure.

While albumin or microalbumin is generally present in blood, creatinine is a waste product that can damage your kidney if it is in excess. That is why checking the albumin to creatinine ratio is important to understand your health. Pathologists calculate the ratio by dividing the concentration of albumin by concentration of creatinine in urine. The value is expressed in milligrams.

To get some insight on the urine ACR test and how its results are interpreted, read on.

Additional read: Urine Test: Why is it Done and What are the Different Types?

What is the significance of the ACR test?

If your doctor suspects any kidney damage, you may have to get this test done. Early diagnosis is important as delayed treatment can lead to further complications. If you notice any of these symptoms, get an ACR test done.

  • Foamy urine
  • Swelling in hands, feet and face

If you are diabetic, get your albumin levels checked yearly. Since diabetes can affect your kidneys, getting an ACR done helps you to monitor the levels properly. If you have a history of high blood pressure, you may be asked to get this test done. High blood pressure can damage the kidney blood vessels resulting in albumin being secreted in the urine [2]. Regular testing for albumin is important to check if your kidneys are functioning properly.

Additional read: High Blood Pressure Treatment At Home: 10 Things To Try!ACR Test for kidney disease

How many types of urine ACR tests are there?

This is a simple urine test in which fresh urine is taken as the sample. There is no need to abstain from drinking or eating before getting this test done. A urine ACR test can be completed in three ways.

In a 24-hour urine test, the urine sample is collected in a specific container over a period of 24 hours. The sample is then sent for an analysis to the laboratory. If your doctor asks you to go for a timed urine test, you may be asked to provide a sample taken early in the morning. In another instance, you may have to give a sample without urinating for four hours. In a random urine test, the sample can be given anytime. For improving the test accuracy, this test is also combined with a creatinine urine test.

How is the urine ACR test conducted?

For a 24-hour urine test, you need to empty your bladder and not collect this as a sample. Note down the time of urination. After this, store the urine passed for the next 24 hours in a container. Refrigerate this container and after 24 hours give the sample container to the laboratory. If your doctor has recommended a random urine sample test, you can collect the urine sample anytime in a sterile container, and send it to the laboratory for analysis [3].

How to interpret the ACR test results?

Results are calculated on the basis of leakage of the protein over a period of 24 hours. If you get a value of less than 30mg, it is considered normal. Any value fluctuating between 30 and 300mg may indicate you are in the early stage of a kidney disease. This condition is also called microalbuminuria.

If your sample value exceeds 300 mg, it indicates that you are suffering from an advanced kidney disease. This is called macroalbuminuria and requires immediate medical attention. Your urine sample may show traces of albumin if you are suffering from urinary tract infections. You doctor may ask you to undergo other tests to confirm if there is a kidney damage or not.

Factors that can increase the urine albumin creatinine ratio

Health parameters that can affect these values include:

  • Vigorous physical activity
  • Dehydration
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Fever
  • Presence of blood in the urine

With the help of the ACR test, doctors can detect kidney damage. If not checked on time, this can lead to severe health complications, and even cause kidney failure. If you have any symptoms of kidney disease, get an ACR test done without delay. To do this, you can book health test packages on Bajaj Finserv Health. This way, you can get accurate results on time. Take proactive measures and protect yourself from kidney-related problems.

Published on 3 Dec 2021Last updated on 18 Oct 2022

Please note that this article is solely meant for informational purposes and Bajaj Finserv Health Limited (“BFHL”) does not shoulder any responsibility of the views/advice/information expressed/given by the writer/reviewer/originator. This article should not be considered as a substitute for any medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with your trusted physician/qualified healthcare professional to evaluate your medical condition. The above article has been reviewed by a qualified doctor and BFHL is not responsible for any damages for any information or services provided by any third party.


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