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Citric acid urine test

Definition

This is a test to measure the amount of citric acid in urine.

Alternative Names

Urine - citric acid test

How the test is performed

A 24-hour urine sample is needed. The health care provider will instruct you, if necessary, to discontinue drugs that may interfere with the test.

  • On day 1, urinate into the toilet when you get up in the morning.
  • Afterwards, collect all urine in a special container for the next 24 hours.
  • On day 2, urinate into the container when you get up in the morning.
  • Cap the container. Keep it in the refrigerator or a cool place during the collection period. Label the container with your name, the date, the time of completion, and return it as instructed.

For an infant, 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 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. Diaper as usual over the secured bag.

This procedure may take a couple of attempts -- lively infants can displace the bag, causing the specimen to be absorbed by the diaper. 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.

Deliver it to the laboratory or your health care provider as soon as possible upon completion. A laboratory specialist will determine how much citric acid is found in the urine sample.

How to prepare for the test

No special preparation is necessary for this test. However, the results are influenced by your diet, and this test is typically performed while you are eating regularly. Ask your health care provider for more information.

How the test will feel

The test involves only normal urination, and there is no discomfort.

Why the test is performed

The test is used to diagnose renal tubular acidosis and evaluate kidney stone disease.

Normal Values

The normal range is 320-1240 milligrams per 24 hours.

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

Low levels of citric acid may indicate possible renal tubular acidosis and a tendency to form calcium stones.

The following may decrease urine citric acid levels:

The following may increase urine citric acid levels:

What the risks are

There are no risks.


Review Date: 10/26/2009
Reviewed By: John G. Hay, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine and Pathology, NYU School of Medicine, New York, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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