Clinical Use:
Background: The presence of sugar in the urine (mellituria) may be the result of either physiological or pathological conditions affecting absorption, metabolism or renal function.

Detection of sugar in faeces is due to malabsorption, this can be due to a number of reasons such as diarrhoea or disaccharide intolerance. In faeces a negative result does not exclude sugar malabsorption as the normal gut bacteria may metabolise any sugars present especially if the sample is stored for prolonged periods. Similarly, old urine samples may give a falsely negative result.

Although glucose is the commonest reducing substance detected it is not the only sugar that will give a positive screening result. There are several other reducing substances that will also give a positive reaction. For this reason all positive results are followed up with specific identification using thin layer chromatography. The exception to this is a positive urine sugar result in a known diabetic patient.

Reference Ranges: Under normal dietary conditions no sugars should be detected in urine or faeces.
Associated Diseases:
Patient Preparation:
Specimen Requirements: Sample type:

  • The analysis can be conducted on either urine or faeces.
  • A fresh sample is required, ideally less than 2 hours old.
  • Samples should be taken into plain, white top universal containers. Boric acid urine collections are unsuitable.

Sample identification:

  • Three patient identifiers from
    • Name
    • D.O.B.
    • Address
    • N.H.S. number
    • Unit Number

    should match on the specimen and request form. This check may be performed prior to centrifugation by the Central Sort department.

Turnaround Time: 48 hours
Additional Information:
Referred Test: