Renal Function

A renal function panel is a group of tests performed together to evaluate your kidney (renal) function. The tests measure your albumin, calcium, carbon dioxide, creatinine, chloride, glucose, phosphorous, potassium, sodium, and BUN and a calculated anion gap value in the blood to determine the current health of your kidneys. Ulta Lab Tests provides reliable blood work and secure testing, so order today!


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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

The BUN/Creatinine ratio is useful in the differential diagnosis of acute or chronic renal disease. Reduced renal perfusion, e.g., congestive heart failure, or recent onset of urinary tract obstruction will result in an increase in BUN/Creatinine ratio. Increased urea formation also results in an increase in the ratio, e.g., gastrointestinal bleeding, trauma, etc. When there is decreased formation of urea as seen in liver disease, there is a decrease in the BUN/Creatinine ratio. In most cases of chronic renal disease the ratio remains relatively normal.


Chromogranin A, LC/MS/MS - Chromogranin-A (CgA) is an acidic glycoprotein expressed in the secretory granules of most normal and neoplastic neuroendocrine (NE) cell types, where it is released together with peptide hormones and biogenic amines. Neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) are a form of cancer that differ from other neoplasia in that they synthesize, store, and secrete peptides, e.g., CgA and amines. CgA is secreted from neuroendocrine-derived tumors including foregut, midgut and hindgut gastrointestinal NETs, pheochromocytomas, neuroblastomas, medullary thyroid carcinomas, some pituitary tumors, functioning and non-functioning pancreatic NETs.
Significantly elevated CgA levels have been found in patients with other diseases, such as impaired renal function, untreated benign essential hypertension, gastritis, prostatic carcinoma, and hyperparathyroidism. The best-characterized circulating biomarker that identifies NETs in general is CgA. Monitoring blood CgA levels may effectively provide information that is helpful in delineating tumor burden and rate of tumor growth, predicting tumor response to therapy and providing some indication as to prognosis.


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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Creatine Kinase Isoenzymes is useful in the evaluation of myocardial disease. Isoenzyme MM is found in skeletal muscle whereas isoenzyme MB is increased in recent myocardial (heart) damage.

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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

Creatinine is the endproduct of creatine metabolism. Creatine is present primarily in muscle and the amount of creatinine produced is related to total skeletal muscle mass. Daily creatinine production is fairly constant except when there is massive injury to muscle. The kidneys excrete creatinine very efficiently and blood levels and daily urinary excretion of creatinine fluctuates very little in healthy normal people. Since blood and daily urine excretion of creatinine shows minimal fluctuation, creatinine excretion is useful in determining whether 24-hour urine specimens for other analytes (e.g., protein) have been completely and accurately collected.

Creatinine is the endproduct of creatine metabolism. Creatine is present primarily in muscle and the amount of creatinine produced is related to total skeletal muscle mass. Daily creatinine production is fairly constant except when there is massive injury to muscle. The kidneys excrete creatinine very efficiently and blood levels and daily urinary excretion of creatinine fluctuates very little in healthy normal people. Since blood and daily urine excretion of creatinine shows minimal fluctuation, creatinine excretion is useful in determining whether 24-hour urine specimens for other analytes (e.g., protein) have been completely and accurately collected

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To screen for and monitor kidney dysfunction in those with known or suspected kidney disease. Cystatin C is a relatively small protein that is produced throughout the body by all cells that contain a nucleus and is found in a variety of body fluids, including the blood. It is produced, filtered from the blood by the kidneys, and broken down at a constant rate. This test measures the amount of cystatin C in blood to help evaluate kidney function.Cystatin C is filtered out of the blood by the glomeruli, clusters of tiny blood vessels in the kidneys that allow water, dissolved substances, and wastes to pass through their walls while retaining blood cells and larger proteins. What passes through the walls of the glomeruli forms a filtrate fluid. From this fluid, the kidneys reabsorb cystatin C, glucose, and other substances. The remaining fluid and wastes are carried to the bladder and excreted as urine. The reabsorbed cystatin C is then broken down and is not returned to the blood.



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  • Renal Function Panel [ 10314 ]
  • Urinalysis (UA), Complete [ 5463 ]
  • Urine Protein, Total, Random without Creatinine [ 14523 ]
     

  • Creatinine Clearance [ 7943 ]
  • Microalbumin, Random Urine with Creatinine [ 6517 ]
  • Renal Function Panel [ 10314 ]
  • Urinalysis (UA), Complete [ 5463 ]
  • Urine Protein, Total, Random without Creatinine [ 14523 ]
     


Kidney Assess

  • Beta-2-Microglobulin, Serum
  • Creatinine Clearance
  • CYSTATIN C WITH eGFR
  • Microalbumin, Random Urine with Creatinine
  • Protein, Total, Random Urine with Creatini
  • PTH, Intact (without Calcium)
  • Renal Function Panel

Kidney Assess Plus

  • Beta-2-Microglobulin, Serum
  • CBC (includes Differential and Platelets)
  • Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP)
  • Creatinine Clearance
  • CYSTATIN C WITH eGFR
  • Microalbumin, Random Urine with Creatinine
  • Protein, Total, Random Urine with Creatini
  • PTH, Intact (without Calcium)
  • QuestAssureD™ 25-Hydroxyvitamin D (D2, D3), LC/MS/MS
  • Renal Function Panel
  • Uric Acid


Liver & Kidney Function Panel

The Liver & Kidney Function Panel contains the following biomarkers:

  • Albumin
  • Albumin/Globulin Ratio
  • Alkaline Phosphatase (ALP)
  • Alanine Tranaminase (ALT)
  • Aspartate Aminotransferase (AST)
  • Bilirubin, Total
  • Bun/Creatinine Ratio
  • Calcium
  • Carbon Dioxide
  • Chloride
  • Creatinine
  • Egfr African American
  • Egfr Non-African American
  • Globulin
  • Potassium
  • Protein, Total
  • Sodium
  • Urea Nitrogen (BUN)



An estimated 37 million people in the United States have kidney disease, and 1 out of 2 people have impaired renal function and don't even realize that they do.

For this reason, renal function lab tests are crucial in managing your overall kidney health. And if you're at risk for developing kidney disease, you need as much knowledge as possible. A renal function panel is a perfect way to start.

Sometimes your kidneys can fail, and your renal function declines. It's essential to have the education and tools you need to manage your kidney health. Keep reading this guide to learn everything you need to know about kidney decline and renal function tests.

What is Renal Function Decline?

Your kidneys are amazing organs, and they work hard to keep the balance of your body in check. They maintain a balance in the body by regulating water and minerals like sodium and potassium. Your kidneys are also responsible for removing waste from your blood after digestion, medication, or chemical exposure.

Your kidneys are even responsible for making chemicals to help with red blood cell production, along with vitamin D.

Renal function decline is the gradual loss of your kidney function, either from disease or other factors. When you have kidney disease, it affects your body's ability to clean and filter your blood. 

When your kidneys get damaged, waste products build up in your blood, causing symptoms of kidney failure.

The main types of kidney disease are acute and chronic kidney disease. Both acute and chronic diseases have different causes, from injury to illness.

Acute Kidney Disease

If your kidneys stop working suddenly, it's called an acute renal failure or acute kidney injury. The leading causes of acute kidney failure include:

  • Decrease in blood flow to the kidneys
  • Damage to the kidneys
  • Urine that is backed up in the kidney

Most often, acute kidney failure is caused by blood loss from a traumatic injury, dehydration, severe infection, taking certain medications, or complications from pregnancy.

People with autoimmune disease, heart, or liver failure are more likely to develop acute kidney failure.

Chronic Kidney Disease

Doctors will classify this as chronic kidney disease if your kidneys don't function normally for three months or more. Often you don't have any symptoms in the early stages of the disease, but this is also when it's much easier to treat. 

The most common conditions over time that harm your kidneys are diabetes and high blood pressure. Other conditions that can cause kidney failure and kidney disease include:

  • Autoimmune diseases like lupus
  • Viral illnesses like HIV, AIDS, and hepatitis B and C
  • Kidney infection or a urinary tract infection that leads to kidney damage
  • Inflammation in the glomeruli (tiny filters) in your kidneys
  • Polycystic kidney disease is genetic and causes fluid-filled sacs on your kidneys

If you have kidney abnormalities at birth, they block your urinary tract and affect kidney function. Toxins, drugs, and long-term use of ibuprofen or any anti-inflammatory drug can cause kidney damage over time.

Kidney Cancer

Another thing that causes kidney function decline is kidney cancer. The most common type of kidney cancer is renal cell carcinoma. Children can also develop a type of kidney cancer called Wilms' tumor.

Kidney cancer is thought to have a genetic cause, but if you have long-term dialysis for kidney failure, you're at greater risk for developing kidney cancer overall.

Risk factors for Renal Function Decline

Your most significant risk factors for a decline in renal function include diabetes and high blood pressure, but there are other risk factors including:

  • Genetics. Having immediate family members with kidney disease increases your risk.
  • Being over 60 years old
  • Being African American, Hispanic, Native American, or Asian American

Causes of Renal Function Decline

Diabetes and high blood pressure are not only your biggest risk factors. They are also the biggest causes of renal function decline. Other conditions that can cause kidney failure ad kidney disease include:

  • Polycystic kidney disease
  • Glomerulonephritis
  • An acute kidney injury that causes kidney damage
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Kidney cancer

Signs and Symptoms of Renal Function Decline

Your kidneys can adapt and compensate for a long time before you get symptoms of kidney disease. Most of the time, kidney damage happens so slowly that you won't feel any symptoms until the advanced stages. Symptoms you'll notice include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Metallic tase
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Muscle cramps
  • Swelling in your feet, ankles, or legs
  • Chest pain and shortness of breath
  • Itching

How Is a Decline In Renal Function Diagnosed?

Your first step towards a diagnosis is making an appointment with your doctor to discuss your symptoms and medical and family history. 

Your doctor will perform a physical exam and check for problems with your heart or high blood pressure. Your doctor will also likely order blood tests and a urine test to assess your kidney function.

Depending on what your initial tests show, you may also have to have imaging tests to look at your kidneys or a kidney biopsy of a piece of your kidney tissue to determine what's causing your problems.

Lab Tests to Monitor Renal Function

The best test to evaluate and monitor your renal function is a renal function panel. This panel measures your BUN/Creatinine Ratio, which helps determine your kidney function and what conditions may be causing a decrease in blood flow to the kidneys. A renal function panel also checks your glucosecalcium, and electrolyte levels.

Another test helpful in screening and monitoring a known or suspected kidney disease is the cystatin C with eGFR test. Cystatin C is a small protein found throughout your body and filtered from the blood by your kidneys. This test measures the amount of cystatin in your body.

High protein concentrations in your urine are a sign of kidney disease. A protein total and random urine with creatinine test measure the amount of protein present.

complete blood count (CBC) is also important as it measures your red blood cells and the overall health of your blood.

FAQS about Renal Function

Are you wondering how you know if you have kidney disease? Since there are often no signs or symptoms initially, it's essential to have both blood and urine tests to check.

How can you protect your kidneys in the best way? The best way to protect your kidneys is to evaluate your lifestyle habits and make the changes you need. Stop smoking, keep your blood sugar in range if you have diabetes, and focus on a healthy diet and exercise.

What type of doctor specializes in treating kidney problems? A nephrologist will treat you if you've been diagnosed with kidney disease. 

Renal Function Lab Tests With Ulta Lab Tests

Ulta Lab Tests offers tests that are highly accurate and reliable so that you can make informed decisions about your health. Here are a few great things to love about Ulta Lab Tests:

  • You'll get secure and confidential results
  • You don't need health insurance
  • You don't need a physician's referral
  • You'll get affordable pricing
  • We offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee

Order your renal function lab tests today, and your results will be provided to you securely and confidentially online in 24 to 48 hours for most tests.

Take charge of your health and order from Ulta Lab Tests today!