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Laboratory Values for Kidney Disease

Provided by Expert Zhang Youkang on 2012-09-13 09:08

Laboratory Values for Kidney DiseaseThe levels of creatinine, BUN and GFR are important laboratory values for diagnosing Kidney Disease. They can tell you the kidney damage degree and the stage of your disease. This article will introduce you the clinical significance of these values.


Creatinine is the product of the creatine phosphate in muscle. It is produced constantly by the body and is chiefly filtered out of the blood by kidneys. The typical reference ranges are 0.5 to 1.0 mg/dL (about 45- 90 μmol/l) for women and 0.7 to 1.2 mg/dL (60-110 μmol/l) for men. If the filtering of the kidneys is deficient, the kidneys fail to filter out creatinine adequately from blood, thus resulting in elevated creatinine level. However, for powerful compensatory capacity of kidneys, creatinine level does not begin to increase until more than half of kidney function is lost. Therefore, creatinine level is not enough to reflect the early kidney damage.


BUN( blood urea nitrogen) is usually used along with creatinine to assess kidney function and help diagnose Kidney Disease. Urea nitrogen is the product of proteins in body and is filtered out of body by kidneys normally. Increased BUN levels suggest impaired kidney function. This may be due to Acute or Chronic Kidney Disease,damage, or failure. It may also be caused by decreased blood flow to your kidneys. The reference levels of BUN is 2.1~7.1 mmol/L(6~20mg/dL) for adults and 2.9~8.2 mmol/L( 8~23 mg/dL) for the elderly above 60 years old. Just like creatinine, BUN level does not begin to elevate until more than half of renal function is lost.

Glomerular filtration rate( GFR)

GFR describes the flow rate of filtered fluid through the kidney. It is the best overall index in assessing kidney function and determining your stage of kidney disease. Normal GFR varies according to age, sex, and body size, and declines with age. According to GFR, Chronic Kidney Disease can be divided into five stages.

1) CKD1 – GFR above 90mL/min/1.73m2 with evidence of kidney damage

2) CKD2 (Mild) – GFR of 60 to 89 mL/min/1.73m2 with evidence of kidney damage

3) CKD3 (Moderate) – GFR of 30 to 59 mL/min/1.73m2

4) CKD4 (Severe) – GFR of 15 to 29 mL/min/1.73m2

5) CKD5- GFR less than 15 mL/min/1.73m2.Usually, the patients in this stage have been prescribed with dialysis.

The above are three important laboratory values in diagnosing Kidney Disease. Hope the above information is helpful for you.

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