osmolality test

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osmolality test

The osmolality meaning refers to as the number of solutes present in a particular liquid. It is generally quantified as solute particles per kilogram of the solvent. The concept can be used in diagnostic tools to detect medical conditions. So what is osmolality test? A diagnostic procedure used to check the concentration of substances like glucose, potassium, sodium, chloride and urea in the blood or urine sample. This is done by evaluation the balance between water and other dissolved particles in a particular sample of blood and urine.

There are two types of osmolality tests used as diagnostic procedures in the medical field.

  1. Urine osmolality 
  2. The serum osmolality.

To evaluate the particles present in a particular sample osmolality and osmolarity is used as a measure. But what is osmolarity and osmolality? The difference between the two is that the former is a measure of osmoles of solute per kg of a litre. While the later is defined as a number of osmoles per kilogram.

understanding the urine osmolality test

What is urine osmolality? There are several compounds present in your urine that can be used as measures for the osmolality test. In a typical urine sample, one can find compounds like glucose, potassium, sodium, urea and chloride. If the kidneys are functioning efficiently, there would be no abnormal levels of these compounds. The urine osmolality test helps in checking the level of water and other particles in the urine and also depicts how well our kidneys are functioning.

understanding the serum osmolality test

Our blood is also known to contain a long list of compounds like hormones, proteins and minerals etc. But sometimes there can be abnormal levels of these in the body triggering adverse reactions. The Serum Osmolality Test is useful in detecting the imbalance in blood serum by checking for the concentration of the dissolved particles. The test is quite beneficial in detecting any underlying medical condition. The serum is used as the sample to conduct the osmolality blood test.

what do the results mean?

Once you get the osmolality test done the results can be obtained in an hour or within 24 hours. To understand the osmolality lab test report, having a knowledge of the osmolality normal range is equally important.

For serum osmolality test 285 and 295 is the normal result range for adults. While 275 and 290 is the normal range for children. Anything above these normal values is known as high blood osmolality. Deviations from the normal range can point out to certain medical conditions. For example, if the values are higher than the normal range for serum test some of the resulting medical conditions could be

1. Diabetes insipidus i.e. frequent urination

2. Dehydration

3. Hyperglycaemia or high blood sugar

But if the results are normal range the resulting conditions could be overhydration or Hyponatremia that is the presence of too little sodium. 

The urine osmolality normal value range is said to be 500 to 850 mOsm/kg. Anything higher than this can lead to conditions like dehydration, high glucose or even congestive heart failure. Conditions resulting from low osmolality can be kidney failure, overhydration or renal tubular necrosis.

when do you need us?

The serum or urine osmolality are known to be important diagnostic tools and helpful in the screening of many medical conditions. We at Portea have the best in-house technicians and doctors to do the job of sample collection from your home and do the analysis.

how can we help you?

With a well-qualified team of doctors and experts, we offer highly accurate diagnostic tests reports. This can be helpful for any ongoing treatment or screening for an underlying problem. Connect with us through a call, email or our website and be rest assured to receive highest quality medical care.


Osmolality tests can help to a great extent in diagnosing important medical conditions. Get them checked today to figure the cause of deviations if any from the reference results. The osmolality test does not require any preparations but ensures that you inform the doctor about any pre-existing medications that you are on, else the tests results might be compromised.