Urine Preservative and Transport List

Patient Instructions

To collect a 24-hour urine specimen:

  1. Follow your physician’s directions regarding intake of food, drink, or drugs before and during collection.
  2. Empty bladder completely on awakening in the morning and discard this urine specimen.
  3. Record date and time under “start” and begin the test (e.g., 5/12/10, 7:00 a.m.).
  4. Collect all urine passed during the rest of the day and night for the next 24 hours. Do not urinate directly into the container. Collect in another clean container and then carefully pour into the 24-hour collection container.
    Note: If possible, keep container refrigerated during collection. Use a portable cooler with ice as an alternative to a refrigerator.
  5. Make final collection the next morning at the same time and record under “finish” (e.g., 5/13/10, 7:00 a.m.).
  6. Take the 24-hour specimen to your physician’s office or laboratory as soon as possible.
    Note: If possible, keep container cool during transport using a portable cooler with ice or an insulated cooler.

Lab Instructions

  1. Most 24-hour urine specimens can be collected in a clean, nonmetal container without preservatives if the specimen is maintained refrigerated or on ice during collection and transport to the laboratory. ARUP provides 24-hour collection containers (supply #16419) with peel-off labels to record times and volume. Affix these labels to containers and transport tubes.
  2. When the specimen is received by your laboratory:
    • Pool entire collection into one container.
    • Mix specimen 15–30 times by inversion of the sealed container.
    • Measure total volume.
    • Record both collection time and total volume.
  3. If requesting a single test, refer to the Laboratory Test Directory to determine required submission volume, method of preservation, and acceptable transportation conditions.
  4. If requesting multiple tests, more than one method of preservation may be required. According to the Tietz Textbook of Clinical Chemistry and Molecular Diagnostics, urine should not be collected at the same time for two or more tests for which different preservatives are required during specimen collection. However, if only a single 24-hour collection is available, and more than one method of preservation is specified for the tests that are ordered, use the following directions:
    • First, measure and record pH of well-mixed, unpreserved urine.
    • Second, remove aliquots, adjust aliquot pH according to instructions in the test directory, and label aliquots appropriately.
  5. Submit urine specimens in ARUP standard transport tubes unless otherwise specified. Pour 4.5 mL into each tube and secure cap. Complete the peel-off label with recorded time and volume, and affix to each ARUP standard transport tube.
    Note: Do not exceed maximum indicated fill indicator on tube, as freezing will cause specimen to expand in volume.
  6. Label each aliquot with the following:
  • Patient information:
    • Name
    • Identification number
    • Collection Information
    • Date and time
    • Total volume
    • Collection duration (i.e., 24-hour)
  • Specify preservative or no preservative pH value
  • Name of requested test