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The Test Sample
What is being tested?
Myoglobin is a small, oxygen-binding protein found in heart and skeletal muscles. It traps oxygen within muscle cells, allowing the cells to produce the energy required for muscular contraction. When heart or skeletal muscle is injured, myoglobin is released into the blood. Elevated levels can be measured within a few hours following an injury.
Myoglobin is filtered from the blood by the kidneys and is released into the urine. Large quantities of myoglobin are toxic to the kidneys. If significant amounts of myoglobin are released into the bloodstream, which can happen after severe trauma or muscle injuries, the excess myoglobin may cause damage to the kidneys and eventually result in kidney failure. Measurement of myoglobin in urine helps to detect this condition.
How is the sample collected for testing?
A blood sample is taken by needle from a vein in the arm or a random urine sample is collected.
NOTE: If undergoing medical tests makes you or someone you care for anxious, embarrassed, or even difficult to manage, you might consider reading one or more of the following articles: Coping with Test Pain, Discomfort, and Anxiety, Tips on Blood Testing, Tips to Help Children through Their Medical Tests, and Tips to Help the Elderly through Their Medical Tests.
Another article, Follow That Sample, provides a glimpse at the collection and processing of a blood sample and throat culture.
Is any test preparation needed to ensure the quality of the sample?
No test preparation is needed.