Myoglobin urine test
The myoglobin urine test is done to detect the presence of myoglobin in urine.
Myoglobin can also be measured with a blood test.
How the Test is Performed
A clean-catch urine sample is needed. The clean-catch method is used to prevent germs from the penis or vagina from getting into a urine sample. To collect your urine, the health care provider may give you a special clean-catch kit that contains a cleansing solution and sterile wipes. Follow instructions exactly so that the results are accurate.
How the Test will Feel
The test involves only normal urination, which should cause no discomfort.
Why the Test is Performed
Myoglobin is a protein in heart and skeletal muscles. When you exercise, your muscles use up available oxygen. Myoglobin has oxygen attached to it, which provides extra oxygen for the muscles to keep up a high level of activity for a longer period.
When muscle is damaged, myoglobin in muscle cells is released into the bloodstream. The kidneys help remove myoglobin from the blood into the urine. When the level of myoglobin is too high, it can damage the kidneys.
This test is ordered when your provider suspects you have muscle damage, such as damage to the heart or skeletal muscle. It may also be ordered if you have acute kidney failure without any clear cause.
A normal urine sample does not have myoglobin. A normal result is sometimes reported as negative.
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
Abnormal results may be due to:
- Heart attack
- Malignant hyperthermia (very rare)
- Muscular dystrophy
- Skeletal muscle inflammation (myositis)
- Skeletal muscle ischemia (oxygen deficiency)
- Skeletal muscle trauma
There are no risks with this test.
Nagaraju K, Lundberg IE. Inflammatory diseases of muscle and other myopathies. In: Firestein GS, Budd RC, Gabriel SE, et al., eds. Kelly's Textbook of Rheumotology. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2013:chap 85.
Selcen D. Muscle diseases. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 421.
Reviewed By: Laura J. Martin, MD, MPH, ABIM Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Hospice and Palliative Medicine, Atlanta, GA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.