Consult the medical resource doctors trust

UpToDate is one of the most respected medical information resources in the world, used by more than 600,000 doctors and thousands of patients to find answers to medical questions.

  • Content written by a faculty of over 5,100 physicians from leading medical institutions
  • Unbiased: free of advertising or pharmaceutical funding
  • Evidence-based treatment recommendations
  • Continuously updated to incorporate new medical findings

Patient information: Collection of a 24-hour urine specimen (Beyond the Basics)

INTRODUCTION

The following instructions will guide you in the proper collection of a 24-hour urine specimen. In some instances, you will be asked to collect two or three consecutive 24-hour urine samples.

INSTRUCTIONS

You should collect every drop of urine during each 24-hour period. It does not matter how much or little urine is passed each time, as long as every drop is collected.

Begin the urine collection in the morning after you wake up, after you have emptied your bladder for the first time.

Urinate (empty the bladder) for the first time and flush it down the toilet. Note the exact time (eg, 6:15 AM). You will begin the urine collection at this time.

Collect every drop of urine during the day and night in an empty collection bottle. Store the bottle at room temperature or in the refrigerator.

If you need to have a bowel movement, any urine passed with the bowel movement should be collected. Try not to include feces with the urine collection. If feces does get mixed in, do not try to remove the feces from the urine collection bottle.

Finish by collecting the first urine passed the next morning, adding it to the collection bottle. This should be within ten minutes before or after the time of the first morning void on the first day (which was flushed). In this example, you would try to void between 6:05 and 6:25 on the second day.

If you need to urinate one hour before the final collection time, drink a full glass of water so that you can void again at the appropriate time. If you have to urinate 20 minutes before, try to hold the urine until the proper time.

Please note the exact time of the final collection, even if it is not the same time as when collection began on day 1.

STORAGE

The bottle(s) may be kept at room temperature for a day or two, but should be kept cool or refrigerated for longer periods of time.

WHERE TO GET MORE INFORMATION

Your healthcare provider is the best source of information for questions and concerns related to your medical problem.

This article will be updated as needed on our web site (www.uptodate.com/patients). Related topics for patients, as well as selected articles written for healthcare professionals, are also available. Some of the most relevant are listed below.

Patient level information — UpToDate offers two types of patient education materials.

The Basics — The Basics patient education pieces answer the four or five key questions a patient might have about a given condition. These articles are best for patients who want a general overview and who prefer short, easy-to-read materials.

Patient information: Kidney stones in adults (The Basics)

Beyond the Basics — Beyond the Basics patient education pieces are longer, more sophisticated, and more detailed. These articles are best for patients who want in-depth information and are comfortable with some medical jargon.

This topic currently has no corresponding Beyond the Basics content.

Professional level information — Professional level articles are designed to keep doctors and other health professionals up-to-date on the latest medical findings. These articles are thorough, long, and complex, and they contain multiple references to the research on which they are based. Professional level articles are best for people who are comfortable with a lot of medical terminology and who want to read the same materials their doctors are reading.

This topic currently has no corresponding professional level content.

The following organizations also provide reliable health information.

National Library of Medicine

     (www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/healthtopics.html)

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

     (www.niddk.nih.gov)

Literature review current through: Sep 2014. | This topic last updated: Dec 18, 2013.
The content on the UpToDate website is not intended nor recommended as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your own physician or other qualified health care professional regarding any medical questions or conditions. The use of this website is governed by the UpToDate Terms of Use ©2014 UpToDate, Inc.

All topics are updated as new information becomes available. Our peer review process typically takes one to six weeks depending on the issue.