A urine concentration test measures the ability of the kidneys to appropriately conserve or excrete water.
Water loading test; Water deprivation test
How the Test is Performed
For this test, the
- Water loading — drinking large amounts of water or receiving fluids through a vein
- Water deprivation — not drinking fluids for a certain amount of time
- ADH administration — receiving antidiuretic hormone (ADH), which should cause the urine to become concentrated
After you provide a urine sample, it is tested right away. For urine specific gravity, the health care provider uses a dipstick made with a color-sensitive pad. The color the dipstick changes to tells the provider the specific gravity of your urine. The dipstick test gives only a rough result. For a more accurate specific gravity result or measurement of urine electrolytes or osmolality, your health care provider will send your urine sample to a lab.
If needed, your health care provider may ask you to
How to Prepare for the Test
Eat a normal, balanced diet for several days before the test. Your health care provider will give you instructions for water loading or water deprivation.
Your health care provider will ask you to temporarily stop any medicines that may affect the test results. Be sure to tell your provider about all the medicines you take, including dextran and sucrose. Do not stop taking any medicine before talking to your doctor.
Also tell your provider if you recently received intravenous dye (contrast medium) for an x-ray. The dye can also affect test results.
How the Test will Feel
The test involves only normal urination. There is no discomfort.
Why the Test is Performed
This test may also be done if you have signs of SIADH (
In general, normal values for specific gravity are as follows:
- 1.000 to 1.030 (normal specific gravity)
- 1.001 after drinking excessive amounts of water
- More than 1.030 after avoiding fluids
- Concentrated after receiving ADH
Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Some labs use different measurements or test different samples. Talk to your doctor about the meaning of your specific test results.
What Abnormal Results Mean
Increased urine concentration may be due to different conditions, such as:
- Loss of body fluids (dehydration) from diarrhea or excessive sweating
- Narrowing of the kidney artery (renal arterial stenosis)
- Sugar, or glucose, in the urine
- Syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion (
Decreased urine concentration may indicate:
- Diabetes insipidus
- Drinking too much fluid
Kidney failure(loss of ability to reabsorb water)
- Severe kidney infection (pyelonephritis)
There are no risks with this test.