Urinary Urea Nitrogen and Nitrogen Balance

The urinary urea nitrogen test is used to determine a patient's nitrogen balance. If the urinary nitrogen balance is positive, the patient is metabolizing sufficient protein, and as a result, nitrogen is excreted in the urine. A urinary urea nitrogen value less than zero indicates a negative nitrogen balance, which is an indication that the patient needs a higher protein intake. When urinary urea nitrogen and nitrogen balance are assessed, the dietician does a protein intake assessment and the nurse is responsible for accurately recording all food intake during the 24 hours of the test period. A normal urinary urea nitrogen level ranges between 6 and 17g in a 24-hour period.

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A urinary urea nitrogen test is used to assess the adequacy of a patient's protein intake.