OBJECTIVE: To evaluate semiquantitative and quantitative assays for microalbuminuria and determination of the urine albumin-creatinine (UAC) ratio in detection of systemic disease in dogs without overt proteinuria. DESIGN: Prospective study. ANIMALS: 408 dogs. PROCEDURES: Urine samples that had been obtained from dogs for which a complete medical record was available and in which results of a dipstick test for urine protein were negative were evaluated. Urine protein-creatinine ratios (cutoff values, 0.5 and 0.1), semiquantitative and quantitative microalbuminuria values (cutoff value, 1 mg/dL), and UAC ratios (cutoff values, 100 and 200 mg/g) were determined. Clinical diagnoses rendered within 3 months of enrollment in the study were recorded. Sensitivity and specificity were determined with disease status serving as the standard. Associations with clinical diagnosis, sex, age, BUN and serum creatinine concentrations, blood pressure, results of bacterial culture of urine, temperature, pyuria, hematuria, and bacteriuria were evaluated by use of logistic regression analysis. RESULTS: 48 dogs were healthy, and 360 had at least 1 disease. Significant associations were detected between age, presence of disease, presence of neoplastic disease, BUN and serum creatinine concentrations, and hematuria and results of 1 or both of the microalbuminuria assays. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Microalbuminuria was associated with underlying disease. The sensitivity and specificity of the semiquantitative microalbuminuria test for detection of systemic disease were superior to those of other tests. Microalbuminuria testing in conjunction with other screening procedures may increase diagnosis of subclinical disease, but a prospective study in which the predictive values of screening tests are evaluated, with and without microalbuminuria determination, is needed.
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