Urine Test For Albumin
If you are at risk for kidney disease, your provider may check your urine for albumin.
Albumin is a protein found in your blood. A healthy kidney doesnt let albumin pass into the urine. A damaged kidney lets some albumin pass into the urine. The less albumin in your urine, the better. Having albumin in the urine is called albuminuria.
A health care provider can check for albumin in your urine in two ways:
Dipstick test for albumin. A provider uses a urine sample to look for albumin in your urine. You collect the urine sample in a container in a health care providers office or lab. For the test, a provider places a strip of chemically treated paper, called a dipstick, into the urine. The dipstick changes color if albumin is present in the urine.
Urine albumin-to-creatinine ratio . This test measures and compares the amount of albumin with the amount of creatinine in your urine sample. Providers use your UACR to estimate how much albumin would pass into your urine over 24 hours. A urine albumin result of
- 30 mg/g or less is normal
- more than 30 mg/g may be a sign of kidney disease
If you have albumin in your urine, your provider may want you to repeat the urine test one or two more times to confirm the results. Talk with your provider about what your specific numbers mean for you.
How Is The Sample Collected For Testing
A blood sample taken by a needle placed in a vein in your arm. An elastic band is wrapped around your upper arm. It may feel tight. You may feel nothing at all from the needle, or you may feel a quick sting or pinch. The blood sample is collected in a tube, which is sent to the laboratory for analysis.
Are There Any Risks From Cmps
A comprehensive metabolic panel is a safe procedure with minimal risks. Some kids might feel faint or lightheaded from the test. A few kids and teens have a strong fear of needles. If your child is anxious, talk with the doctor before the test about ways to make the procedure easier.
A small bruise or mild soreness around the blood test site is common and can last for a few days. Get medical care for your child if the discomfort gets worse or lasts longer.
If you have questions about the CMP, speak with your doctor or the health professional doing the blood draw.
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What Clinical Trials Are Open
Clinical trials that are currently open and are recruiting can be viewed at www.ClinicalTrials.gov.
This content is provided as a service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health. The NIDDK translates and disseminates research findings to increase knowledge and understanding about health and disease among patients, health professionals, and the public. Content produced by the NIDDK is carefully reviewed by NIDDK scientists and other experts.
Understanding Kidney Function Test Results
In order to understand kidney function tests, also known as a renal panel, it is important to understand what the kidneys do. The kidneys filter the blood and remove unwanted waste from the bloodstream. They also remove excess water from the body, helping to regulate blood pressure and the fluid balance of the body.
When the kidneys are functioning well, there is very little unwanted waste in the body. When these waste levels in the blood begin to climb, they can indicate that the kidneys are no longer functioning as well as they should.
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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.
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.
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How To Read Blood Test Results
While every laboratory or test-providing company may structure their result reports differently, they all must include the same components as mandated by federal legislation.
Some of that may be administrative content, such as the name of the person who did the blood test, the date the test was done, and the name of the doctor who ordered the test.
When it comes to understanding the results, you can look for the following :
- Quantitative test result. Results will be typically written out numerically in cases when the test measured the quantity of something. For example, if the test measured the amount of cholesterol in your blood.
- Abnormal markers. Often, a laboratory report will include some kind of marker to let you know if a result is outside the normal interval, and therefore abnormal. For example, you may see the letter H to indicate high, the letter L to indicate low, or the acronym WNL for within normal limits. You may see an asterisk and some additional comments in text if your results come out as highly abnormal. In this case, youll typically get a call from your doctor.
- Reference range. Every laboratory will have its own reference range for each type of test. Typically, this reference range will be written in your laboratory report next to the numerical value of your result so you are able to see where your result falls in the range.
To a blood test, the nurse or technician:
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 A Creatinine Test
A creatinine test, also called a serum creatinine test, is a way for doctors to measure how well your kidneys are working. Creatinine is a waste product from the normal breakdown of muscle tissue. As your body makes it, its filtered through your kidneys and expelled in urine. Your kidneys ability to handle creatinine is called the creatinine clearance rate, and this helps estimate how fast blood is moving through your kidneys, called the glomerular filtration rate .
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How Much Does The Test Cost
There is no universal fixed price for a renal panel test.
Different charges that can figure into the total price include office visits, fees related to the blood draw procedure, and costs of laboratory analysis. How much is billed for these charges can depend on several factors including:
- Where the blood draw is performed
- The laboratory that performs the testing
- The specific measurements included in the renal panel
- Whether you have health insurance
Many health insurance plans will cover some or all of the costs of a renal panel if the test is prescribed by your doctor, but some costs, such as for a deductible or copays, may still have to be paid out of pocket.
For more detailed information about what will be covered and your expected costs, talk directly with your doctors office and your health insurance company.
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How Does Blood Flow Through My Kidneys
Blood flows into your kidney through the renalartery. This large blood vessel branches into smaller and smaller blood vessels until the blood reaches the nephrons. In the nephron, your blood is filtered by the tiny blood vessels of the glomeruli and then flows out of your kidney through the renal vein.
Your blood circulates through your kidneys many times a day. In a single day, your kidneys filter about 150 quarts of blood. Most of the water and other substances that filter through your glomeruli are returned to your blood by the tubules. Only 1 to 2 quarts become urine.
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 .
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Why Do I Need A Gfr Test
Early stage kidney disease doesnt usually cause symptoms. But you may need a GFR test if you are at higher risk of getting kidney disease. Risk factors include:
- Family history of kidney failure
Later stage kidney disease does cause symptoms. So you may need a GFR test if you have any of the following symptoms:
- Urinating more or less often than usual
- Loss of appetite
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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Who Orders My Blood Tests
Your doctor typically orders blood tests for you during a physical, checkup, or an appointment intended to screen for a specific condition.
Its possible to order your own blood tests without a doctor through laboratories like LabCorp and Quest Diagnostics, but health insurance may not cover these tests.
While such blood tests may more accessible and convenient, it may be harder to interpret the results without a medical professional.
Some blood testing facilities may also not give you accurate results.
One infamous case of this is Theranos. The California biotechnology firm shut down in 2018 when an investigation uncovered lies and fraud around the accuracy of its private blood-testing technology.
Currently, litigation is underway against the founder and chief executive of the company, Elizabeth Holmes.
What To Expect With A Kidney Disease Diagnosis
Since you can have kidney disease without any symptoms, your doctor may first detect the condition through routine blood and urine tests.
The National Kidney Foundation recommends 3 simple tests to screen for kidney disease:
Measuring urea nitrogen in the blood provides additional information.
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How To Calculate Your Gfr
Estimating GFR begins with a simple serum creatinine blood test. If youre using our GFR calculator, your eGFR is calculated using the results of your blood test, along with your age, ethnicity, and gender. When your eGFR is calculated by your doctor, weight and body size may also be factored into your eGFR.
What Is A Kidney Function Blood Test
The kidney function blood test measures the level of creatinine, urea and certain dissolved salts.
- Creatinine is a waste product in your body that is made by your muscles. It passes into your bloodstream, and is usually passed out in urine . A high blood level of creatinine indicates that your kidneys may not be working properly.
- Urea is produced when protein is broken down by your body. Healthy kidneys eliminate more than 90% of the urea your body produces. A high blood level of urea may indicate that you are dehydrated or that your kidneys may not be working properly.
- Dissolved salts that are routinely measured are sodium, potassium, chloride and bicarbonate. They are sometimes referred to as electrolytes. Abnormal blood levels of any of these may sometimes be due to a kidney problem.
- eGFR stands for estimated glomerular filtration rate. Although the level of creatinine in your blood is a useful guide to kidney function, the eGFR is a more accurate measure of how well your kidneys are filtering your blood. Using your blood creatinine, and your age and sex, your eGFR can be calculated by computer and reported with the creatinine blood test.
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Understanding Your Lab Values
People who develop chronic kidney disease may have some or all of the following tests and measurements. If you have kidney disease ask your doctor which tests you will have and how often they will be done. Speak to your doctor about your results. If your numbers are not in the normal range, ask how to improve them.
Serum Creatinine: Creatinine is a waste product in your blood that comes from muscle activity. It is normally removed from your blood by your kidneys, but when kidney function slows down, the creatinine level rises. Your doctor should use the results of your serum creatinine test to calculate your GFR.
Glomerular Filtration Rate : Your GFR tells how much kidney function you have. It may be estimated from your blood level of creatinine. If your GFR falls below 30 you will need to see a kidney disease specialist . A GFR below 15 indicates that you need to start a treatment for kidney failure. Your kidney disease specialist will speak to you about treatments for kidney failure, such as dialysis or kidney transplant.
Blood Urea Nitrogen : Urea nitrogen is a normal waste product in your blood that comes from the breakdown of protein from the foods you eat and from your body metabolism. It is normally removed from your blood by your kidneys, but when kidney function slows down, the BUN level rises. BUN can also rise if you eat more protein, and it can fall if you eat less protein.
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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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Other Blood Work Values
People have been asking me about other blood work values that are often mentioned in the news. Here are the ones Ive been asked about the most:
- C-reactive protein: also a blood test, this is a more specialized measurement for heart disease, c-reactive protein is a marker of inflammation . It is being used as a predictor of heart disease.
Youre at low risk of developing cardiovascular disease if your hs-CRP level is lower than 1.0mg/L
You are at average risk of developing cardiovascular disease if your levels are between 1.0 and 3.0 mg/L
You are at high risk for cardiovascular disease if your hs-CRP level is higher than 3.0 mg/L
- Homocysteine: if a person has B12 or folate deficiency, or if someone has suffered a heart attack or stroke, often their doctor will order a homocysteine test. Its also a marker for heart disease and can give a bigger picture to the usual blood pressure and basic metabolic panel. Normal levels are 4 14 µmol/L and elevated levels are connected to increased risk of heart disease and stroke.
- HbA1c/Glycosylated hemoglobin: normal < 5.7%, pre diabetes 5.7-6.4%, 6.5% or higher means diabetes. This test measures your blood sugar over several weeks or months. If you have diabetes, your doctor will tell you how often you need a blood test to measure your levels. Ask for this test if you have a family history of diabetes.