Renal (Kidney) Function Test Panel
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About Our Renal (Kidney) Function Test Panel
The Renal Function Test Panel is used to determine overall kidney health and function. The kidneys filter all of the body's blood and they keep important molecules in your blood, like proteins, and filter out what your body does not need, like excess water or waste products.
The Renal Function Test Panel of tests measure the following 12 levels in the blood:
- Albumin - Albumin is a protein found in the blood. If the kidneys are healthy, there should be very little protein in your urine – if any. However, if the kidneys are damaged, albumin may leak out of the kidneys and into your urine.
- BUN (Blood Urea Nitrogen) - Urea nitrogen is a byproduct from the breakdown of food proteins. A normal BUN level is between 7 and 20. As kidney function decreases, the BUN level rises.
- BUN-to-Creatinine Ratio - The ratio of BUN to creatinine (BUN:creatinine) is usually between 10:1 and 20:1. An increased ratio may be due to a condition that causes a decrease in the flow of blood to the kidneys.
- Calcium - Measuring urine calcium can help determine whether the kidneys are excreting the proper amount of calcium and can also help diagnose kidney stones.
- Carbon Dioxide - Your kidneys and lungs balance the levels of carbon dioxide, bicarbonate, and carbonic acid in the blood. Carbon dioxide levels can be used to help diagnose kidney disease.
- Chloride - Chloride is an electrolyte. An increased level of blood chloride may indicate kidney disease.
- Creatinine - A waste product that comes from the normal wear and tear on muscles of the body. Creatinine levels in the blood can vary depending on age, race and body size, but a creatinine level greater than 1.2 for women or greater than 1.4 for men may be an indicator that the kidneys are not working properly. The level of creatinine in the blood rises as kidney disease progresses.
- Estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate (eGFR) - This test is a measure of how well the kidneys are removing wastes and excess fluid from the blood. The normal value for GFR is 90 or above, but may decrease with age. A GFR below 60 is a sign that the kidneys are not working properly. A GFR below 15 indicates kidney failure.
- Glucose - Levels of glucose in the urine indicate glycosuria. Renal glycosuria occurs when the renal tubules fail to reabsorb all glucose at a level that is normal.
- Phosphorus - Kidneys that are functioning normally can remove extra phosphorus in your blood. Individuals with chronic kidney disease often cannot remove phosphorus from the blood very well. High phosphorus levels can cause damage to your body.
- Potassium - Kidney disease is the most common cause of high blood potassium.
- Sodium - Abnormal levels of sodium help to determine if the kidneys are properly removing sodium from the body.
Fasting is required for the blood glucose test. Fasting is defined as no consumption of food or beverages other than water for at least 8 hours before testing.