Does this test have other names?
What is this test?
This is a urine test to see whether you have a high level of the chemical oxalate
in your urine. Oxalate is a natural end product of metabolism in the body. It should leave
your body through your urine. If your oxalate levels are too high, the extra oxalate
can combine with calcium to form kidney stones. These stones are hard masses of chemicals
that can get stuck in the urinary tract. They commonly cause severe pain. Calcium-oxalate
kidney stones are the most common type. Higher levels of oxalate may be caused by eating
foods high in oxalate, or by your body absorbing or making too much oxalate.
Why do I need this test?
If you have kidney stones often, your healthcare provider might order this test to
help him or her make a recommendation on treatment. It may also be used to find out
how well limiting the amount of oxalate in your food is working. You might have this
test to see whether you have a rare inherited condition called primary hyperoxaluria
and are at risk of developing kidney stones.
What other tests might I have along with this test?
Your healthcare provider might also order tests to look for other chemicals in your
urine: glycolate and glycerate. He or she may also want a blood sample to test for
a genetic form of hyperoxaluria.
What do my test results mean?
Many things may affect your lab test results. These include the method each lab uses
to do the test. Even if your test results are different from the normal value, you
may not have a problem. To learn what the results mean for you, talk with your healthcare
The normal level of urine oxalate excretion is less than 45 milligrams per day (mg/day).
A higher level of urine oxalate may mean you are at risk of developing kidney stones.
Risk of stone formation seems to increase even at levels above 25 mg/day, which is
considered within normal limits.
How is this test done?
This test requires a urine sample collected over 24 hours. Your healthcare provider
will tell you how to collect the sample.
What might affect my test results?
Eating foods high in vitamin C can affect your test results. In the body, vitamin
C is changed into oxalate. Your test results also may be affected by an inflammation
of the bowel or if you've had intestinal or colon surgery. Studies haven't found for
sure whether eating spinach, peanuts, chocolate, and other foods high in oxalate can
increase oxalate in your urine.
How do I get ready for this test?
Avoid eating or drinking any food with vitamin C for 24 hours before you collect your
urine sample. Also be sure your healthcare provider knows about all medicines, herbs,
vitamins, and supplements you are taking. This includes medicines that don't need
a prescription and any illicit drugs you may use.