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Albumin is a protein that is present in large amounts in the blood. When kidneys are functioning properly, only a tiny amount of albumin leaks through into the urine, less than 30 mg/day. In kidney failure (the last stage of a slow process of decline in kidney function), large amounts of protein are spilled into the urine. A long time before this amount of damage happens, small changes in the kidney allow very small but abnormal amounts of albumin to leak through, usually as a result of having diabetes.
This condition is called microalbuminuria and the test that measures this very small amount of albumin is called albumin/creatinine ratio urine (ACRU).