Tests For Kidney Cancer
Kidney cancer might be found because of signs or symptoms a person is having, or it might be found because of lab tests or imaging tests a person is getting for another reason. The actual diagnosis of kidney cancer is made by looking at a sample of kidney cells in the lab or sometimes by how the kidney looks on an imaging test. If you think you have possible signs or symptoms of kidney cancer, see your doctor.
Why Is It Important To Check Kidney Function
When your kidneys do not work as they should, waste can build up in your blood. This can make you sick. If you have long-term kidney disease, you may not have any symptoms until your kidney function is very low.
Blood and urine tests can help show how well your kidneys are working. They can help your doctor know:
- If the disease started all of a sudden or if you have had it a long time.
- The cause of the kidney damage.
- The best type of treatment to slow the damage.
- How well treatment is working.
- When to begin dialysis or have a kidney transplant.
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How Is A Renal Panel Different From A Comprehensive Or Basic Metabolic Panel
The BMP has 8 components, all of which are included in the CMP, which has a total of 14 measurements. The components of the BMP and CMP are more standardized than the renal panel, which can vary between laboratories.
The BMP, CMP, and most renal panels include measurements of glucose, electrolytes, calcium, and the waste products creatinine and urea nitrogen. The CMP and many renal panels also include measurement of albumin.
An important difference for the comprehensive metabolic panel is its inclusion of tests that help assess the condition of the liver. These are tests found on a typical liver panel test.
Because it is not as standardized, a renal panel test may include measurements, such as phosphorus or the anion gap, that are not found on the BMP or CMP.
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Magnetic Resonance Imaging Scan
MRI scans may be done when a person cant have the CT contrast dye because they have an allergy to it or they dont have good kidney function. MRI scans may also be done if theres a chance that the cancer has grown into major blood vessels in the abdomen , because they provide a better picture of blood vessels than CT scans. Finally, they may be used to look at abnormal areas in the brain and spinal cord that might be due to cancer spread.
What If My Test Results Show Early Kidney Disease
If a test shows irregular results, your healthcare provider will follow up with you about treatment options. You may receive medications to control blood pressure. Or you may follow up with a nephrologist .
If your test results are atypical, your provider will likely order more frequent kidney function tests in the future. Regular testing helps your provider track your health and any underlying conditions.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Kidney function tests check how well your kidneys are working. Healthy kidneys assist with removing waste from your body. Conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure can affect your kidney function. You may also need a kidney function test to diagnose or rule out an infection. Kidney function tests include blood tests or urine tests. Typically, your provider gives you your results the same day or within a few days.
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What Are The Types Of Kidney Function Tests
Your healthcare provider may order one or a few different types of kidney function tests. You may have blood tests for kidney function, such as:
- Blood urea nitrogen measures nitrogen in your blood.
- Estimated GFR calculates filtration rates based on your protein levels, age, gender, size and race.
- Serum creatinine looks for the buildup of creatinine, a waste product from muscle tissue breakdown.
Your healthcare provider may also use 24-hour urine tests, including:
- Microalbuminuria looks for a specific protein called albumin.
- Urinalysis evaluates your urine for blood, proteins and function.
What Are Blood Tests
Blood tests help doctors check for certain diseases and conditions. They also help check the function of your organs and show how well treatments are working.
Specifically, blood tests can help doctors:
- Evaluate how well organssuch as the kidneys, liver, thyroid, and heartare working
- Diagnose diseases and conditions such as cancer, HIV/AIDS, diabetes, anemia , and coronary heart disease
- Find out whether you have risk factors for heart disease
- Check whether medicines youâre taking are working
- Assess how well your blood is clotting
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Estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate
Estimated glomerular filtration rate provides a guide to kidney function. Although the level of creatinine in the blood is a useful guide to kidney function, the eGFR is a more accurate measure. Blood creatinine can be used to estimate the eGFR using age, sex and race. This is often calculated by computer and reported with the creatinine blood test. The normal value for eGFR is 90-120 ml/min. An eGFR below 60 ml/min suggests that some kidney damage has occurred. The value becomes lower with increasing severity of kidney damage.
Read more about estimated glomerular filtration rate .
Why Might I Need A Kidney Function Test
Some conditions, such as diabetes or high blood pressure , affect how well the kidneys work. If you have one of these conditions, your healthcare provider may use kidney function tests to help monitor these conditions.
You may also need a kidney function test if you have symptoms that indicate possible kidney problems. These symptoms might include:
- Blood in your urine .
- Problems with starting to pee.
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What Is The Normal Range Of Bacteria In Urine
For that reason, up to 10,000 colonies of bacteria/ml are considered normal. Greater than 100,000 colonies/ml represents urinary tract infection. For counts between 10,000 and 100,000, the culutre is indeterminate. Sensitivity refers to the antibiotics tested to be effective in stopping the bacteria.
Why Do Some Blood Tests Require Fasting
Everything you eat and drink contains vitamins, proteins, and other nutrients that can cause the related levels in your blood to temporarily spike or drop.
Fasting for 812 hours helps ensure that blood test results are free from these variables, making your test results as accurate as possible.
Some common tests that may require fasting include:
- cholesterol tests
Results may take anywhere from a few hours to a few days to become available. Heres an overview of how long some common tests may take:
- complete blood count : 24 hours
- basic metabolic panel: 24 hours
- complete metabolic panel: 2472 hours
- lipid panel: 24 hours.
This can depend on the specific lab where you get tested or how many tests you get done at once. If you order multiple tests, you may not get the complete results until all of the tests are completed.
Sometimes a lab will only release results to your doctor, who reviews them and then releases them to you.
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Keep Your Kidneys Healthy
You can help lower your risk for CKD or keep it from getting worse by eating healthy, being active, and keeping your blood pressure and cholesterol levels in your target range. Make sure to take care of your kidneys if you are at risk for CKD. If you have diabetes, get tested for kidney disease once each year. Having your kidneys checked regularly gives you the best chance for finding and treating CKD early.
What Does The Test Measure
A renal panel includes multiple measurements. However, not all renal panel tests are exactly the same. The components can depend on the laboratory or the measurements requested by the doctor prescribing the test.
The most common components tested in most renal panels include:
Other measurements that may also included in a renal panel include:
- Anion gap: The anion gap is a comparison of different electrolytes. Specific electrolytes can be positively or negatively charged, and this test assesses the balance between the two types. This measurement helps determine if you have too much or too little acid in your blood.
- Estimated glomerular filtration rate : The eGFR is an evaluation of kidney function. Glomeruli are tiny filters in the kidneys, and the eGFR is a calculation of how much blood they are filtering every minute. There are different ways to calculate eGFR, but most tests use a special formula based on your creatinine level.
- Total protein: There are several kinds of proteins that can be found in the blood, and total protein is a count of all of them. These proteins include albumin and multiple types of globulins, which are made by the immune system.
- BUN-to-creatinine ratio: In some cases, comparing the amounts of the waste products BUN and creatinine can provide information about whether abnormal levels are being caused by problems in the kidneys or another part of the body..
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Blood Urea Nitrogen Test
The blood urea nitrogen test checks for other waste products in the blood, such as urea nitrogen.
Urea nitrogen occurs as proteins from food break down, and elevated levels may be a sign that the kidney is not filtering these waste products effectively.
A typical BUN level falls between 7 and 20 milligrams per deciliter. Higher values could be a sign of an underlying condition affecting the kidneys.
With that said, many other things can affect BUN levels, such as medications or antibiotics. A diet that is very high in protein diet may also affect levels.
Doctors will typically compare these results to the results of a creatine test to get a better understanding of how well the kidney is filtering this waste.
Imaging tests may help doctors identify any physical changes to the kidneys, such as injuries or kidney stones.
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Why Would You Have White Blood Cells In Your Urine
White blood cells in the urine may indicate inflammation of the kidneys or urinary tract due to bacterial infection. It is important to note, however, that contamination of the urine can also cause the presence of white blood cells in the urine, so remember to practice proper aseptic technique when giving the sample.
Kidney Biopsy To Check For Damage And Disease
A biopsy is a test involves removing a small sample of kidney tissue small through a thin needle to check for damage and signs of certain diseases. The tissue is examined under a microscope to determine the exact cause of the kidney disease, and the biopsy findings may also help us determine the best treatment for your kidney disease.
Are All Renal Panel Tests The Same
It is common for there to be some variation in the individual components of a renal panel based on the specific laboratory that performs your test. However, some test elements, such as the electrolytes, glucose, calcium, phosphorus, and albumin are found on the most common renal panel tests offered by major laboratories.
In addition, your doctor can request that other specific measurements be included with your renal panel. You will see a line item for each component when you review your test report, and your doctor can explain the significance of each component and the results in the context of your health situation.
Why Wait Until Your Kidneys Are Diseased
While the study was conducted on people with kidney disease, we could safely extrapolate the recommendations to those who want to avoid kidney disease and achieve optimal kidney function now, especially as we age.
In fact, additional research points to the actuality of physiological changes in the kidneys as we age. The research notes that a progressive reduction of the glomerular filtration rate and renal blood flow are observed in conjunction with aging. The reason for these phenomena is a decrease in the plasma flow in the glomerulus, a bundle of capillaries that partially form the renal corpuscle.2
In addition, the aging kidneys experience other structural changes, such as a loss of renal mass, and decreased responsiveness to stimuli that constrict or dilate blood vessels. The study concludes with a notable summation:
age-related changes in cardiovascular hemodynamics, such as reduced cardiac output and systemic hypertension, are likely to play a role in reducing renal perfusion and filtration. Finally, it is hypothesized that increases in cellular oxidative stress that accompany aging result in endothelial cell dysfunction and changes in vasoactive mediators resulting in increased atherosclerosis, hypertension and glomerulosclerosis.2
Tests For Kidney Disease
- Medically reviewed by
The only way to know how well your kidneys are working is to get tested. Kidney disease often has no symptoms until your kidneys are badly damaged. Testing is especially important if you have diabetes, high blood pressure or a family history of kidney disease.
Ask your doctor about these kidney tests. Finding and treating kidney disease early can help you slow or stop damage to your kidneys.
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Kidney Testing: Everything You Need To Know
If you have diabetes, your doctor will likely recommend you have one or more kidney tests to check the health of your kidneys.
If you have diabetes, you have a higher risk for chronic kidney disease. Your doctor will likely recommend you have one or more kidney tests to check the health of your kidneys. The sooner you know the health of your kidneys, the sooner you can take steps to protect them. Knowledge is powerlearn about what these tests do and what your results could mean.
Chronic kidney disease is a condition in which the kidneys become damaged over time and cannot filter blood as well as they should. Diabetes is a leading cause of CKD, which often causes no symptoms until your kidneys are badly damaged.
The good news is that if you find and treat kidney disease early, you may be able to keep CKD from getting worse and prevent other health problems such as heart disease. But the only way to know how well your kidneys are working is to get tested.
If you have diabetes, you know how important it is to prevent complications like CKD. Your doctor will want to check your kidney health, usually by testing your urine and blood.
What Other Testing Might Be Required
Depending upon your petâs clinical signs, and the results of the initial screening tests, further testing for kidney disease may include any of the following:
A urinary protein/creatinine ratio is recommended if the urine dipstick evaluation suggests that an excessive amount of protein is being lost in the urine. A urine sample is sent to a veterinary referral laboratory, and the ratio of protein to creatinine in that sample is calculated. An increased protein/creatinine ratio can indicate kidney damage.
Urine culture may be performed if the urinalysis findings are suggestive of a bacterial infection as the cause of the kidney disease.
Leptospirosis titers may be recommended if this organism is suspected of causing the kidney disease. See handout Antibody Titers for more information.
Occasionally ultrasound examination and/or kidney biopsy may be recommended to evaluate the kidneys.
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How Is Kidney Disease Diagnosed
A simple kidney function test can help your doctor determine whether you have kidney disease. After measuring your creatinine levels with a simple blood test, your estimated glomerular filtration rate can be calculated using age, weight, body size, ethnicity, and gender. Your eGFR indicates how well your kidneys are functioning. An eGFR of 120 or less can indicate kidney disease. Your doctor may also perform other tests before determining a kidney disease diagnosis.
Medical History And Physical Exam
If you have any signs or symptoms that suggest you might have kidney cancer, your doctor will want to take your complete medical history to check for risk factors and to learn more about your symptoms.
A physical exam can provide information about signs of kidney cancer and other health problems. For example, the doctor may be able to feel an abnormal mass when they examine your abdomen .
If symptoms or the results of the physical exam suggest you might have kidney cancer, more tests will probably be done. These might include lab tests,imaging tests, or biopsies of the kidney.
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Testing For Kidney Disease In Your Dog Or Cat
A large number of older dogs and cats develop kidney disease or failure. With correct diagnostic testing, the problem can be caught early enough for more successful treatment.
Kidney disease and failure is one of the most common disorders I see in dogs and cats. Its extremely prevalent as animals age, especially in those eight years of age and up. While it can be fatal, kidney disease can usually be treated and even cured if caught early. Lets look at the testing that allows for the early diagnosis of this frequently-seen health problem in dogs and cats.
Ways to Test for Kidney Disease
The BUN is one of three blood tests for kidney function. It is a good screening test but not perfect, as it only elevates significantly if kidney function is destroyed by 60% to 70%. However, it is inexpensive to run and part of most blood panels. BUN is also affected by diet, exercise, and muscle mass, so results can be skewed due to non-kidney factors increased results must be interpreted in light of these factors.
Therefore, a third test called SDMA , which tests for the amino acid arginine, may be incorporated into the blood panel. SDMA levels elevate very early in the course of kidney disease, anywhere from 12 to 36 months before BUN and creatinine elevate .
Infectious disease testing