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What Labs Check Kidney Function

All You Need To Know About Reading Your Kidney Function Test Report

Kidney Function Tests, Animation

Written by Dr Anitha Anchan | Published : May 5, 2016 6:26 PM IST

Kidneys regulate urinary system and filter out toxins from the body. They control water and mineral levels and help maintain blood pressure and acid- base levels in the body. An infection, diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol levels, autoimmune disorders, habitual pill-popping or physical damage can cause kidney dysfunction. Kidney disease is no more a disease of the elderly. Sedentary lifestyle and addiction to smoking and liquor are taking a toll on the kidneys of the youth.

Kidney function tests what are they?

Several markers in the blood and urine can help identify kidney function. Urea and creatinine are the gold standard markers to detect kidney disease. Kidney function tests are simple blood and urine tests that check whether your kidneys are working properly by measuring the levels of markers. They help identify problems with the functioning of your kidneys. Various kidney function tests are:

What Tests Do Doctors Use To Diagnose And Monitor Kidney Disease

To check for kidney disease, health care providers use

  • a blood test that checks how well your kidneys are filtering your blood, called GFR. GFR stands for glomerular filtration rate.
  • a urine test to check for albumin. Albumin is a protein that can pass into the urine when the kidneys are damaged.

If you have kidney disease, your health care provider will use the same two tests to help monitor your kidney disease and make sure your treatment plan is working.

What To Watch For

Kidney disease gets worse over time as waste and fluid build up in your body. Here are the warning signs:

  • Changes in your urine. You might pee more or less than normal. Or you could notice a change in color or that your pee is foamy. This means that protein is seeping out of your kidneys. Blood in the urine is another sign.
  • Dry and itchy skin. This can happen when your kidneys are no longer able to balance the minerals and nutrients in your blood.
  • Swelling. Your kidneys help even out the amount of sodium in your body. When theyâre not working well, your body hangs on to extra salt. This can cause puffy skin around your ankles and feet. You may also notice it in your hands or around your eyes.
  • Upset stomach. Built-up waste in your blood can cause nausea and loss of appetite.
  • Fatigue. Your kidneys produce a hormone that tells your body to make red blood cells that carry oxygen throughout your body. If theyâre not working right, this doesnât get done, and you can have a health problem called anemia. You may feel tired, even after you rest. Your sleep quality may suffer, too.

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Top 7 Kidney Tests To Measure Your Kidney Function


Time has flown by once again, and therefore it is well and truly time to write my next article to help those with kidney disease. Today I wanted to cover a very important topic: kidney tests.

Kidney tests are the first stage of any great treatment program. There is no point coming in with guns a blazing if you dont know exactly what has caused your condition, what degree of deterioration your condition is at, and a general reference point of where you are beginning with treatment this is particularly important, as you want to know if all the good work is paying off!

As you are probably aware kidney disease is known as a silent killer. Typically because of late diagnosis, coming well after the damage has already been caused giving little time to treat. So if you are reading this right now with only a suspicion that something is afoot with your kidney/urinary tract health, please take this friendly suggestion and go and have your kidneys tested this week. This is of great importance it may just save your life, or better yet, give you a disease free, vital life .

Why Might I Need A Kidney Function Test

Upto 50% off on Kidney Function Test (KFT)

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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About Our Renal Function Panel

Our Renal Function Test Panel includes ten measurements and two calculations that provide valuable information necessary to determine your kidney health. Your kidneys filter over 180 liters of blood every day, removing waste and excess water. Without your kidneys filtering ability, the unwanted waste and water would accumulate in your blood and cause damage. By taking this test, a doctor can use the information gathered to help diagnose kidney-related issues.

Kft Test Normal Range/ Values

Kidney function test consist of a number of parameters, Each of these parameters has a specific normal range. Though usually, a KFT test report does highlight the parameters which are outside their specific range. But it is advisable to leave the result interpretation to a doctor.

Many a time, results are correlated and need to read in conjunction with some other tests. Moreover, some of the parameters can be outside the normal range due to a problem in a different organ of the body. The normal range or normal values given below are for reference.

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Can I Take The Test At Home

Very few options exist for a complete renal panel test that can be taken with an at-home test kit. Some at-home kidney tests involve taking a fingerstick blood sample at home and sending it to a lab for analysis, but these tests do not include all of the same measurements that are included in a typical renal panel test.

Who Has A Blood Test Of Kidney Function

Renal Function Panel Test: Understanding your kidney lab results and what the numbers mean

Routine kidney function is one of the most commonly performed blood tests. It may be done:

  • As part of a general health assessment.
  • If you have suspected low body water content , when the urea level increases.
  • If you have suspected kidney failure. The higher the blood levels of urea and creatinine, the less well the kidneys are working. The level of creatinine is usually used as a marker as to the severity of kidney failure. Creatinine in itself is not harmful but a high level indicates that the kidneys are not working properly. So, many other waste products will not be cleared out of the bloodstream. You normally need treatment with dialysis if the level of creatinine goes higher than a certain value.
  • Before and after starting treatment with certain medicines. Some medicines occasionally cause kidney damage as a side-effect. Therefore, kidney function is often checked before and after starting treatment with certain medicines.

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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.

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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Estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate

Normal Lab Value 90-120 ml/minute, 60 ml/minute or less indicates kidney damage may be present

Kidneys can filter up to 150 quarts of blood each day in the body of the average adult. The Estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate is a way of estimating the ability of the kidneys to filter blood. Using a formula that includes creatinine level, a lab can estimate the number of liters of blood the kidneys are filtering.

Reporting That Makes Detection And Referral Easier

Kidney function test features.

Beyond testing, Quest provides access to clinical algorithms and other educational resources, as well as advanced expertise on kidney health, to help you navigate care along the complex cardiometabolic continuum.

With the Kidney Profile, you and your patients also benefit from a comprehensive results report. It maps follow-up testing frequency according to National Kidney Foundation recommendations.

Frequency of monitoring CKD based on risk of disease progression assessed using eGFR and uACR6,7

ACR, albumin-creatinine ratio eGFR, estimated glomerular filtration rate C, confirm using eGFR based on cystatin C or creatinine plus cystatin C R, refer to specialist This figure was adapted from references 6 and 7, and is provided for informational purposes only as a guide for using laboratory tests, and is not intended as medical advice. A physicians test selection and interpretation, diagnosis, and patient management decisions should be based on his/her education, clinical expertise, and assessment of the patient.

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Additional Tests For Kidney Disease

If blood and urine tests indicate reduced kidney function, your doctor may recommend additional tests to help identify the cause of the problem.

Renal Imaging

Methods of renal imaging include ultrasound, computed tomography , and magnetic resonance imaging . These tools are most helpful in finding unusual growths or blockages to the flow of urine.

Renal Biopsy

Your doctor may want to see a tiny piece of your kidney tissue under a microscope. To obtain this tissue sample, the doctor will perform a renal biopsya hospital procedure in which the doctor inserts a needle through your skin and into the kidney. The needle retrieves a strand of tissue about 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch long. For the procedure, you will lie on your stomach on a table and receive local anesthetic to numb the skin. The sample tissue will help the doctor identify the cause and severity of your kidney disease.


Blood Tests To Check For Anemia


Hematocrit is a blood test that measures the number and the size of red blood cells. It gives a percentage of red blood cells found in whole blood. It is used to check for anemia. Anemia, a shortage of oxygen carrying red blood cells, often begins at the early stages of kidney disease. Anemia is treatable. A normal hematocrit for a healthy adult is 38-45%. For a person with CKD, the desirable Hct is 33-36%.


Hemoglobin is the part of the red blood cell that carries oxygen to the cells of the body. Both hemoglobin and hematocrit are measured to check for anemia. Three times the hemoglobin level equals the hematocrit. A normal hemoglobin level for a healthy adult is 12-15 g/dl. For a person with CKD the desirable hemoglobin is 11-12 g/dl.

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What Do Your Kidneys Do

Your kidneys are part of your urinary system. The two kidneys sit in the back of your abdomen just below your ribcage. They help your body filter waste materials and expel them as urine. Your kidneys are also vital for producing:

  • Hormones that maintain blood pressure.
  • Red blood cells, which carry oxygen throughout your body.
  • Vitamin D, which maintains bone and muscle health.

Testing For Kidney Disease In Your Dog Or Cat

Lab Kidney Function Test 1

by Paws & Claws Animal Hospital | May 1, 2020 | Animal Wellness Published Articles

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

Blood tests

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

Urine testing

Urine culture



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How Is A Renal Panel Different From A Comprehensive Or Basic Metabolic Panel

There is considerable overlap between the measurements on a renal panel, basic metabolic panel , and comprehensive 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.

Vital Tests That Help Diagnose Ckd

Properly functioning kidneys clean up wastes and remove extra fluids from the blood. Conducting blood and urine tests help gauge how well your kidneys are filtering out wastes from your body.

Below are the common chronic kidney disease lab tests performed to assess kidney function .

Blood tests

1. Estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate – This test measures the rate of blood flow through the kidneys. You may look at this number as the percentage of your kidney function. eGFR is also used to identify which stage of CKD you may be in.

Below are the eGFR values based on every CKD stage:


Stage 5

below 15

The eGFR is calculated from the serum creatinine level in your blood .

Standard eGFR can differ based on age. It decreases as people get older, even in people without kidney disease. The normal eGFR number for adults is 90 or higher. The chart below shows the average eGFR numbers per age range according to the National Kidney Foundation:

A filtration rate of 60 and below indicates that the kidneys are not working well. If a persons eGFR approaches 15 and lower, he must start looking for renal replacement therapy to replace the blood-filtering function of his kidneys. Treatments under RRT include kidney transplant and dialysis .

Most people with kidney disease develop anemia during the early stage of CKD. Anemia may worsen as kidney disease progresses and when the kidneys can no longer produce the hormone erythropoietin .

Urine tests

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Questions For Your Doctor About Test Results

When your test results are ready, you can learn more about their significance by discussing them with your doctor. Some questions that you can ask include:

  • Were there any abnormal findings on my renal panel test? If so, what were they?
  • For any abnormal findings, can you explain what might be the cause?
  • Are there any follow-up tests that are warranted based on my renal panel test?
  • Should I take this test again? If so, when?

Assess Kidney Function And Damage In Your At

Kidney Function Test

Traditional serum creatinine testing may only reveal one side of the CKD story. For a more complete picture, guidelines recommend both the eGFR blood test and the urine albumin-to-creatinine ratio test to assess kidney function and damage.5 This combination enables early detection, essential to managing CKD progression.

The Kidney Profile from Quest includes both tests, enabling earlier detection with just one test code. Quest offers the guideline-based testing you need to help diagnose CKD, manage disease progression, and establish follow-up testing frequency. Youll also know when a referral to a nephrologist is recommended.

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What Is A Kidney Function Test

A kidney function test is a group of laboratory tests that helps detect problems or disorders in the kidneys. One of these tests is the analysis of urine, commonly known as urinalysis. Blood tests that are included in the kidney function test include measuring for creatinine and blood ureanitrogen . There is also the creatinine clearance test, which measures both blood and urine over a given time.

The kidneys are important body organs that eliminate waste from the blood and in the maintain fluid balance inside the body. When the kidneys are not functioning well due to injury or diseases, waste products can build up in the blood. Symptoms may then appear such as abdominal pain on the side of the affected kidney, weakness, swelling of the hands or feet, and shortness of breath. Some patients may not even present with symptoms when kidney disease affects only a small part of one or both kidneys. A nephrologist, doctor who specializes in kidney disorders, usually orders a kidney function test to evaluate and diagnose patients suspected of having kidney problems.


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