Kidney function tests are an all important test used to determine how well the kidney function is. Anyone who has kidney disease will need to have these tests performed, depending on their specific condition and needs.
Each test is important as it tells doctors more information about how the kidneys are working, or not working, so doctors can further tailor treatment to meet those needs. There are four tests in this category: BUN, Creatinine for urine, Creatinine clearance and creatinine blood.
BUN is one of the tests performed by doctors on patients with kidney disease. BUN stands for blood urea nitrogen. Urea nitrogen forms when protein breaks down. This test helps doctors by measuring the levels of urea nitrogen in the blood, which tells doctors how well the kidneys are working to flush this byproduct out of the body.
There are three Creatinine tests performed. Creatinine is a waste product from creatine, which is where the muscles get their energy production from.
- Creatinine for urine: Creatinine can be measured successfully in some patients by using urine samples. Doctors may collect urine for 24 hours or a random sample may be used.
- Creatinine for blood: Doctors can measure the amount of creatinine within the blood using this test. The blood comes from a vein and is then tested.
- Creatinine Clearance: In this test, doctors compare the level of creatinine in the urine with the levels found in the blood. Doctors can then use this information to get a better understanding of how well the kidney is functioning.
When higher than normal levels are present, this means the kidneys are not functioning as they should. When these levels increase over time, this may mean treatments are not successful or that the kidney’s functioning level has decreased farther. All of this helps doctors to determine the next level of testing or treatment.
Written by Patrick Ireland