Renal Panel Labs - Kidney Function
This panel includes blood and urine tests commonly used by physicians to determine kidney dysfunction: Urinalysis, Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP), Cystatin C and eGFR.
These renal panel labs include blood and urine tests commonly used by physicians to determine kidney dysfunction: Urinalysis, Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP), Cystatin C and eGFR.
Lab Tests Used to Monitor Kidney Function:
Blood pressure. Your health care provider will devise a plan, which may include diet changes and medications, to keep your blood pressure as close to normal as possible. Target blood pressure is defined as less than 130/80. High blood pressure is one of the main causes of kidney disease.
Blood electrolytes (tested via a CMP test). When the kidneys are not working correctly, you can develop high potassium and low calcium, phosphorus, bicarbonate, which can affect your heart's conduction system and cause muscle aches and other complications.
Urine protein or albumin in the urine (tested by urinalysis). Albumin is the main protein in the blood. When the kidneys become damaged, the holes in the filtering system of your kidneys become enlarged, allowing protein to leak into the urine. In the early stages of kidney damage, only small amounts of albumin (microalbuminuria) are found. This test is very important for people with diabetes because at this early stage of kidney damage, further deterioration can often be prevented by diet, exercise, and medications.
GFR (glomerular filtration rate). This is a measure of how well the kidneys are filtering blood. An estimate of your "filtering rate" is determined by a blood test called a blood creatinine test, which measures the amount of creatinine -- a waste product -- in your blood. This test, along with your age, body size, and gender, provides an estimate of your GFR. The GFR, or "filtering rate," helps confirm normal or low kidney function. A score of 90 or above is normal; a score below 15 indicates kidney damage that will require dialysis or a kidney transplant. Another commonly used test to estimate GFR is a creatinine clearance. This test measures the creatinine in the blood and urine to determine kidney function.
Cystatin C is a protein found in almost all the cells in the body. Cystatin C helps to regulate the activity of enzymes needed to break down bigger molecules both inside of and around those cells.
Cystatin C level in the blood can be measured to determine how well the kidneys are functioning. The kidneys, liver, and spleen all work to filter the blood and excrete any waste substances as urine. This filtration process happens in a microscopic structure in the kidneys: the glomerulus. Each kidney contains approximately one-million glomeruli that function as tiny sieves to extract waste. The glomerular filtration rate (GFR) rate is a measure of how well the glomeruli are filtering blood.
If the kidneys and glomeruli are impaired, the GFR could decrease. A decreased GFR can cause certain proteins to accumulate (like cystatin C and creatinine) in the blood.
The levels of cystatin C in the blood can be used to assess the glomerular filtration rate to indirectly provide an assessment of kidney function. Since the concentration of cystatin C in the blood will not change due to infection or inflammation and isn’t affected by body weight, drugs, creatine supplements, or high protein diet - cystatin C level could be a more reliable indicator of kidney health than creatinine.
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