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How soon should a urine sample be tested?

Ideally, the specimen for routine urinalysis should be examined while fresh (less than 1 hour; 2 hours maximum). If this is not possible, it should be refrigerated immediately and/or have an appropriate chemical preservative added until examined. Specimens stored at room temperature will soon begin to decompose, mainly due to the presence of bacteria in the sample. Refrigerated samples should be used within 24 hours of collection.

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