Tests and diagnosis

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Tests and procedures used to diagnose nephrotic syndrome include:

  • Urine tests. A urinalysis can reveal abnormalities in your urine, such as large amounts of protein, if you have nephrotic syndrome. You may be asked to collect urine samples over 24 hours for an accurate measure of the protein in your urine.
  • Blood tests. If you have nephrotic syndrome, a blood test may show low levels of the protein albumin (hypoalbuminemia) specifically and, often, decreased levels of blood protein overall. Loss of albumin is often associated with an increase in blood cholesterol and blood triglycerides. Serum creatinine and blood urea also may be measured to assess your overall kidney function.
  • Removing a sample of kidney tissue for testing. Your doctor may recommend a procedure called a kidney biopsy to remove a small sample of kidney tissue for testing. During a kidney biopsy, a special needle is inserted through your skin and into your kidney. Kidney tissue is collected and sent to a laboratory for testing.
Jan. 11, 2012