Kidney Disease

Order a kidney function test to know your kidney numbers, including your ACR (Albumin to Creatinine Ratio) and GFR (glomerular filtration rate). The GFR measures your kidney function and can identify if you have kidney disease and if there is disease is present at which stage. Ulta Lab Tests provides reliable blood work and secure testing, so order today!

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Myasthenia Gravis (MG) is a neuromuscular disorder characterized by muscle weakness, most commonly due to autoantibody-mediated loss of functional acetylcholine receptors (AChR) in the neuromuscular junction. This assay aids in the differential diagnosis of MG-like muscle weakness, in differentiating between generalized MG and ocular MG, and in monitoring therapeutic response. If binding antibodies are negative, assays for blocking and modulating antibodies should be considered.

Myasthenia gravis (MG) is a neuromuscular disorder characterized by muscle weakness, most commonly due to autoantibody-mediated loss of functional acetylcholine receptors (AChR) in the neuromuscular junction. This assay is most useful when the acetylcholinesterase receptor modulating antibodies are positive. The assay for blocking antibodies is useful in monitoring response to therapy.

Myasthenia gravis (MG) is a neuromuscular disorder characterized by muscle weakness, most commonly due to autoantibody-mediated loss of functional acetylcholine receptors (AChR) in the neuromuscular junction. Modulating Antibody to AChR causes weakness by inhibiting or modulating binding to the receptors.

Actin is the major antigen to which smooth muscle antibodies react in autoimmune hepatitis. F-Actin IgG antibodies are found in 52-85% of patients with autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) or chronic active hepatitis and in 22% of patients with primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC). Anti-actin antibodies have been reported in 3-18% of sera from normal healthy controls.

Serum albumin measurements are used in the monitoring and treatment of numerous diseases involving those related to nutrition and pathology particularly in the liver and kidney. Serum albumin is valuable when following response to therapy where improvement in the serum albumin level is the best sign of successful medical treatment. There may be a loss of albumin in the gastrointestinal tract, in the urine secondary to renal damage or direct loss of albumin through the skin. More than 50% of patients with gluten enteropathy have depressed albumin. The only cause of increased albumin is dehydration; there is no naturally occurring hyperalbuminemia

Alpha 2 Macroglobulin

Antinuclear antibodies are associated with rheumatic diseases including Systemic Lupus Erythematous (SLE), mixed connective tissue disease, Sjogren's syndrome, scleroderma, polymyositis, CREST syndrome, and neurologic SLE. 

Reflex Information: If ANA Screen, IFA is positive, then ANA Titer and Pattern will be performed at an additional charge.

Anion Gap Panel (Electrolyte Balance) includes the following test.

  • Anion gap 4
  • Sodium
  • Potassium
  • Chloride
  • Carbon dioxide

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Beta-2-microglobulin normally passes through the glomerulus into the proximal tubule where much of it is reabsorbed. Serum levels are therefore an index of glomerular function. When impaired, serum levels rise in inverse ratio to glomerular filtration rate. Increased amounts of beta-2-microglobulin are excreted in several renal disorders, e.g., Balkan nephropathy, heavy metal poisoning and renal tubular disease due to therapeutic agents. Serial levels of beta-2-microglobulin in serum and urine are used to evaluate transplant viability and anticipate rejection. Following a successful graft, serum levels decline toward normal. Increasing serum levels provide an early sign of rejection. Elevated levels are also noted in lymphproliferative disorders, neoplasms (malignant and benign), inflammatory disease, and autoimmune diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and Sjögren's disease

Urinary calcium reflects dietary intake, rate of calcium absorption by the intestine and bone resorption. Urinary calcium is used primarily to evaluate parathyroid function and the effects of vitamin D. A significant number of patients with primary hyperparathyroidism will have elevated urinary calcium. However, there are other clinical entities that may be associated with increased urine calcium: Sarcoidosis, Paget's disease of bone, vitamin D intoxication, hyperthyroidism and glucocorticoid excess. Decreased urine calcium is seen with thiazide diuretics, vitamin D deficiency and familial hypocalciuric hypercalcemia.

Carnitine, LC/MS/MS Includes: Carnitine, Total; Carnitine, Free; Carnitine, Esters; Esterified/Free Ratio


Clinical Significance

Serum carnitine analysis is useful in the diagnosis and monitoring of patients with carnitine deficiency (either primary or secondary). Primary carnitine deficiency is an autosomal recessively inherited genetic condition that affects carnitine uptake by cells and tissues through a defect in the plasma membrane carnitine transporter. Secondary carnitine deficiency can be seen in some disease states or in patients on carnitine-poor diets, but is also seen in a number of metabolic disorders. In these disorders, carnitine complexes with the accumulated substrate of the blocked metabolic step, and the resulting acylcarnitine ester is excreted in the urine, leading to a depletion of carnitine in the patient

Catecholamines, Fractionated and VMA, 24-Hour Urine without Creatinine

Catecholamines are a group of similar substances released into the blood in response to physical or emotional stress. The primary catecholamines are dopamine, epinephrine (adrenaline), and norepinephrine. Catecholamine testing measures the amounts of these hormones in the urine and/or blood. Urine testing is recommended over blood testing.

Patient Preparation

It is preferable for the patient to be off medications for three days prior to collection. However, common antihypertensives (diuretics, ACE inhibitors, calcium channel blockers, alpha and beta blockers) may cause minimal or no interference.
Patient should avoid tobacco, tea, coffee, and strenuous exercise for 8-12 hours prior to collection.

Clinical Significance

Urine chloride excretion approximates the dietary intake. The chloride content of most foods parallel that of sodium. An increase in urine chloride may result from water deficient dehydration, diabetic acidosis, Addison's disease, and salt-losing renal disease. Decreased urine levels are seen in congestive heart failure, severe diaphoresis and in hypochloremic metabolic alkalosis due to prolonged vomiting.

Decreased C3 may be associated with acute glomerulonephritis, membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis, immune complex disease, active systemic lupus erythematosis, and generalized autoimmune processes.

Decreased C3 and C4 levels may be associated with acute glomerulonephritis, membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis, immune complex disease, active systemic lupus erythematosis, cryoglobulinemia, congenital C4 deficiency and generalized autoimmune disease

Decreased C4 level is associated with acute systemic lupus erythematosis, glomerulonephritis, immune complex disease, cryoglobulinemia, congenital C4 deficiency and generalized autoimmune disease

CH50 is a screening test for total complement activity. Levels of complement may be depressed in genetic deficiency, liver disease, chronic glomerulonephritis, rheumatoid arthritis, hemolytic anemias, graft rejection, systemic lupus erythematosis, acute glomerulonephritis, subacute bacterial endocarditis and cryoglobulinemia. Elevated complement may be found in acute inflammatory conditions, leukemia, Hodgkin's Disease, sarcoma, and Behcet's Disease.

A Complete Blood Count (CBC) Panel is used as a screening test for various disease states including anemia, leukemia and inflammatory processes.

A CBC blood test includes the following biomarkers: WBC, RBC, Hemoglobin, Hematocrit, MCV, MCH, MCHC, RDW, Platelet count, Neutrophils, Lymphs, Monocytes, Eos, Basos, Neutrophils (Absolute), Lymphs (Absolute), Monocytes(Absolute), Eos (Absolute), Basos (Absolute), Immature Granulocytes, Immature Grans (Abs)

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Serum creatinine is useful in the evaluation of kidney function and in monitoring renal dialysis. A serum creatinine result within the reference range does not rule out renal function impairment: serum creatinine is not sensitive to early renal damage since it varies with age, gender and ethnic background. The impact of these variables can be reduced by an estimation of the glomerular filtration rate using an equation that includes serum creatinine, age and gender.

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Creatinine Clearance is used to evaluate the glomerular filtration rate (GFR). Clearance is defined as that volume of plasma from which a measured amount of substance could be completely eliminated into the urine per unit of time. Daily creatinine production is fairly constant except when there is massive injury to muscle

According to the National Center for Health Statistics survey, at least 6 million U.S. adults were diagnosed with kidney disease in 2018.

Your two kidneys are vital organs that perform essential roles in maintaining your health. Their primary functions include controlling water levels and essential minerals such as sodium for the body's optimum functioning.

Additionally, they help remove waste material from the blood; the kidneys are comprised of millions of nephrons, commonly referred to as blood-filtering units that filter waste such as urine from the blood.

The kidneys also help perform other miscellaneous roles, such as producing hormones that impact your overall body health.

What is Kidney Disease?

Kidney disease is a condition in which your kidneys are not functioning properly, leading to an abnormal concentration of waste products and chemical substances that may be life-threatening.

Therefore, it is advisable to ask your doctor about kidney disease screening. The sooner you get checked, the sooner you can seek treatment to protect your kidneys.

About Kidney Disease

A diagnosis of kidney disease is often defined by the gradual loss of kidney functions, such as filtration of waste from the blood and a high amount of protein in the urine.

Risk Factors for Kidney Disease

The main risk factors for kidney disease include the following:

  • Diabetes: uncontrolled diabetes leads to high blood glucose that gradually damages the kidneys' nephrons.
  • High blood pressure: it can cause damage to kidneys' blood vessels
  • Age: Older people above 60 are at a higher risk to develop kidney disease
  • Family history of inherited disorders such as polycystic kidney disease (PKD).

Causes of Kidney Disease

Different conditions can lead to a loss in kidney function. The leading causes include the following:

  • Decrease in blood flow to the kidneys
  • Drainage blockage from the kidney that is caused by enlarged prostate and kidney stones
  • Diabetes
  • Family history of inherited diseases such as polycystic kidney disease (PKD)
  • High blood pressure
  • Damage to kidney's filtering units (glomerulonephritis).

Signs and Symptoms of Kidney Disease?

Most people with kidney disease do not exhibit visible symptoms until their kidneys are badly damaged. The disease progresses silently without significant signs to suspect problems related to loss of kidney functions. However, lab tests during routine health examination can help detect early signs such as:

  • Hematuria (traces of blood in urine sample)
  • Proteinuria (proteins in the urine sample)
  • Decreased eGFR
  • Elevated creatinine
  • A decrease in the amount of urine
  • Urination problems such as burning sensation and abnormal discharge.

You may also notice the following symptoms in chronic kidney disease:

  • Muscle cramps
  • Darkened skin
  • Numbness in feet
  • Tiredness
  • Signs such as swollen legs and ankles that depict fluid retention.

Lab Tests for Kidney Disease

Doctors use different tests to check for kidney disease. They check your kidney numbers using the GFR (glomerular filtration rate) or ACR (Albumin to Creatinine Ratio) tests.

You may need the following lab tests and procedures for kidney disease diagnosis:

Blood Tests for Kidney Disease Testing

Most kidney function tests involve blood tests. Your doctor will check how well your kidney filters waste from your blood. The doctor will check the following:

Serum Creatinine Test

One sign of early kidney disease progression is the presence of creatinine in the blood. When your kidney muscles wear and tear, they produce creatinine as a waste product.

Creatinine level above 1.2 and 1.4 in women and men respectively shows that your kidney is not functioning correctly. However, these levels may vary depending on body size and age.

Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN) Test

When you eat protein, your body breaks it down, and urea nitrogen is one of its waste products. A doctor will measure the level of urea nitrogen in your blood to check the level of your kidney function.

Often, the expected level should be between 7 and 20. An increase in its levels in the blood depicts a decrease in kidney function.

Blood Test to Estimate Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR)

One of a healthy kidney's indicators is its ability to filter waste and excess fluid from your blood. Doctors use the estimated glomerular filtration rate to test for creatinine levels in your blood. Your GFR number helps doctors to determine the stage of your kidney disease.

The standard GFR value should be above 60. Your kidneys are not working properly if it drops below 60. Moreover, you are at a higher risk for kidney failure once your GFR drops to below 15.

Urine Tests

Doctors can determine the level of protein leaks from your kidney by conducting a urine test. A standard urine test includes the following:

A Urinalysis

Doctors conduct a microscopic examination to check for abnormalities such as the presence of excess proteins, blood, pus, and sugar in your urine sample. A urinalysis is effective in detecting chronic kidney disease and kidney stones.

A Urine protein test

This test confirms proteinuria, an excess amount of proteins in your urine.

Microalbumin (Checking Albumin in Urine)

The doctor uses this urine test to check a protein called albumin in your urine sample. Microalbumin testing encompasses using a sensitive dipstick test mostly for people at high risk of developing kidney disease.

A Test For Creatinine Clearance

Creatinine clearance test compares the level of creatinine in your urine sample. The doctor uses a 24-hours urine sample to determine how much waste the kidney filter out.

Imaging Tests

A doctor can order a kidney ultrasound to assess its structure or size.

Kidney Biopsy

A small sample of your kidney tissue may be examined for signs of damage. Doctors administer local anesthesia when performing a kidney biopsy.

Frequently Asked Questions About Kidney Disease and Lab Testing for Kidney Disease

Some fundamental questions about chronic kidney disease and kidney lab testing that you may ask your doctor include the following:

  • What is causing damage to my kidneys?
  • Is the level of damage to my kidney worsening?
  • Do I need a further lab test?
  • When can I see a kidney screening specialist?
  • How frequently should I have my kidney function tested in a year?
  • How can I manage kidney disease together with another health condition?
  • Should I consult a dietician to help me plan a special diet?

Get To Know Your Kidney Health: Order Your Kidney Disease Tests at Ulta Lab Tests Today!

Order your kidney lab tests at Ulta Lab Tests and enjoy the following benefits:

  • At Ulta Lab Tests, we offer tests that are highly accurate and reliable so that you can use them to make informed decisions about your health.
  • We send you secure and confidential results online.
  • You do not need insurance or a doctor’s referral to order kidney lab tests
  • You get affordable pricing that includes a doctor's order
  • We guarantee you 100% satisfaction.

Order your kidney lab tests and your results will be sent securely and confidentially online in 24 to 48 hours for most tests. Take charge of your kidney health and track your progress with Ulta Lab Tests today!