Get exclusive member benefits & effect social change. Join Today
The urine 24-hour volume test measures the amount of urine your body produces in a day and analyses what is in your urine. It’s a noninvasive procedure that involves no pain or discomfort. This simple test typically helps diagnose problems with kidney function.
Your doctor may order this test if they think you might have a kidney disease or if you’re producing abnormally large volumes of urine, a condition called polyuria. Polyuria appears in diabetes insipidus, an uncommon condition that occurs when your kidneys can’t conserve water.
Urine volume is also measured as part of the creatinine clearance test or any other test that measures the amount of a substance eliminated in a 24-hour period.
You might take only this test, or you might take it along with other procedures. This test can help your doctor determine if you have kidney disease.
There’s very little preparation needed for the urine 24-hour volume test. Your doctor may give you more specific instructions depending on your current medical condition and the reasons for the test.
Tell your doctor if you’re pregnant or think you may be pregnant. Be sure to inform your doctor about any current prescription and over-the-counter medications and supplements you’re taking and ask if any of these will interfere with the results.
Typically, you don’t need to fast or take certain medications to prepare. However, based on the reasons for the test, your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods or beverages during the test.
Because this test involves collecting and storing urine for a 24-hour period, you may want to consider scheduling the test for a day when you’re at home. Ask if you must start the test at a particular time, and adjust your schedule accordingly.
You’ll receive one or more containers for collecting and storing urine. Make sure you understand when and where you should return the container or containers.
The goal is to collect your urine for a 24-hour period. You can do this while you’re in the hospital, but you can also easily do it on an outpatient basis. The test should begin at a specific time and end at the same time on the following day. The test will follow these steps:
Under some circumstances, your doctor may want you to repeat the procedure several times.
If you’re collecting your baby’s urine, you’ll receive special urine collection bags with adhesive paper to keep them in place. Follow these steps:
The urine 24-hour volume test is noninvasive, and it only involves urinating as you normally would. There are no side effects or risks.
It’s important to follow instructions to get accurate results. Several factors can affect the accuracy of your test, including:
Other factors that may interfere with results include acute stress and vigorous exercise. Let your doctor know if that’s the case for you. Your doctor may want you to repeat the test in some cases.
The normal range of urine output is 800 to 2,000 milliliters per day if you have a normal fluid intake of about 2 liters per day. However, different laboratories may use slightly different values. Your doctor will explain what your particular numbers mean.
Normal urine is sterile and contains no bacteria, viruses, or fungi. Urine is a mixture of water and chemicals, proteins, or electrolytes such as:
Your doctor may want to order additional testing if your urine contains too much or too little of these chemicals. They may also want to order additional tests if your urine output is unusually high or low.
An abnormally low urine volume may indicate:
An abnormally high urine volume may indicate:
Your doctor will explain the results of your test and let you know if you need additional testing.
Written by: Ann Pietrangelo
Medically reviewed on: May 30, 2017: Deborah Weatherspoon, PhD, RN, CRNA
Enter your symptoms in our Symptom Checker to find out possible causes of your symptoms. Go.
Enter any list of prescription drugs and see how they interact with each other and with other substances. Go.
Enter its color and shape information, and this tool helps you identify it. Go.
Find information on drug interactions, side effects, and more. Go.