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Urine sample
Urine sample


Definition:

Delta-ALA is a protein produced by the liver. A test can be done to measure the amount of this protein in your urine.



Alternative Names:

Delta-aminolevulinic acid



How the test is performed:

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

  • On day 1, urinate into the toilet when you get up in the morning.
  • Collect all subsequent urine (in the provided container) for the next 24-hours.
  • On day 2, urinate into the same 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 you last urinated, and return it as instructed.

Infant:

Thoroughly wash and rinse the area between the lips of the vagina or the head of the penis. Open the urine collection bag (the plastic bag with an adhesive paper on one end), and place it on your 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 lips of the vagina.

Place a diaper over the infant (bag and all). The infant should be checked frequently and the bag changed after the infant has urinated into the bag. For active infants, this procedure may take a couple of attempts. Drain the urine into the container for transport to the laboratory. As with adults, the container must be kept refrigerated.

Deliver it to the laboratory or your health care provider as soon as possible upon completion.

Avoid exposure of the urine to direct light.



How to prepare for the test:

Your doctor may tell you to temporarily stop taking any drugs that may affect test results. Such drugs include penicillin, barbiturates, birth control pills, and griseofulvin, an antifungal medicine.



How the test will feel:

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



Why the test is performed:

This test looks for increased levels of Delta-ALA. It may be used to help diagnose porphyria .



Normal Values:

In general, the normal range is 1 to 7 milligrams per 24 hours.



What abnormal results mean:

Increased levels of urinary delta-ALA may indicate:

  • Lead poisoning
  • Porphyria (several types)
Decreased levels may occur with chronic liver disease .

What the risks are:

There are no risks.




Review Date: 8/8/2008
Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. 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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789 Central Avenue, Dover, NH 03820
Phone: (603) 742-5252
Toll free: 1 (877) 201-7100