Creatinine Blood Test - Results

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Why is it important to check blood creatinine levels?

The kidneys maintain the blood creatinine in a normal range. Creatinine has been found to be a fairly reliable indicator of kidney function. Elevated creatinine level signifies impaired kidney function or kidney disease.

As the kidneys become impaired for any reason, the creatinine level in the blood will rise due to poor clearance of creatinine by the kidneys. Abnormally high levels of creatinine thus warn of possible malfunction or failure of the kidneys. It is for this reason that standard blood tests routinely check the amount of creatinine in the blood.

A more precise measure of the kidney function can be estimated by calculating how much creatinine is cleared from the body by the kidneys. This is referred to as creatinine clearance and it estimates the rate of filtration by kidneys (glomerular filtration rate, or GFR). The creatinine clearance can be measured in two ways. It can be calculated by a formula using serum (blood) creatinine level, patient's weight, and age. Creatinine clearance can also be more directly measured by collecting a 24-hour urine sample.

Blood urea nitrogen (BUN) level is another indicator of kidney function. Urea is also a metabolic byproduct which can build up if kidney function is impaired. The BUN-to-creatinine ratio generally provides more precise information about kidney function and its possible underlying cause compared with creatinine level alone. BUN also increases with dehydration.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: TODI, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: March 26

I"m checked regular because of my lung transplant. I take immunosuppressants. My last creatinine level was 2.1 and Prograf was 11.5.

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Comment from: CHANDRU, 45-54 Female (Caregiver) Published: April 29

I had a slight ankle and pedal edema in my left leg. So I saw the doctor and he asked me to check my creatinine level. My serum creatinine is 0.83mg/dl, urine creatinine is 85mg/dl and urine protein is 20mg/dl and protein creatinine ratio is 0.2:1.

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