Renal Function

Renal Function Lab Tests and health information

Are you aware of how well your kidneys are performing?

Find out with a renal function panel from Ulta Lab Tests to assess your kidney function and health.

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.
 
If you have any concerns about how well your kidneys are functioning or if you're experiencing symptoms listed below that may indicate kidney disease, then this test will help diagnose what's going on.

  • swelling or weight gain from fluid retention
  • nausea/vomiting
  • fatigue
  • shortness of breath with activity or at rest
  • changes in urination, including frequency or color
  • chest pain, especially if it worsens when lying down or occurs during physical activity
  • numbness/tingling in arms/legs 

The renal function tests are also used to monitor individuals who are being treated for chronic kidney disease (CKD). This includes those who have diabetes mellitus type 1 and 2 because they are at increased risk for developing CKD due to their high risk for diabetic nephropathy. Individuals with CKD often need dialysis treatments which can lead to serious complications like heart problems, so early detection is key to knowing what's going on sooner rather than later will save both time and money! Please don't wait until it's

If you want to learn more about renal function and the lab tests that can help you, click on the title of the articles below.

Ulta Lab Tests is the perfect way to take charge of your health! You can order discounted lab tests online 24/7, and we'll provide you with a doctor's authorization. Plus, our labs are located near you, with 2100 locations nationally. Results are typically available from Quest Diagnostics in 24 to 48 hours for most tests, and our customer service is always friendly and helpful.

Order your renal function tests from the selection below today and take charge of your health!


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Test in the Top 5 Kidney Function Tests to Ask for and How to Interpret Them

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

  • 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 ]
     

Most Popular

Description: A renal panel is a blood test that is used to screen for, diagnose, and monitor a variety of conditions and diseases such as diabetes and kidney disease.

Also Known As: Kidney Panel Test, Kidney Function Panel Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: Fasting Specimen Preferred

When is a Renal Function Panel test ordered:

When someone has risk factors for kidney disease, such as hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, excessive cholesterol, or a family history of kidney disease, a health practitioner may recommend a renal panel.

When someone has signs and symptoms of kidney illness, a health professional may order a renal panel, albeit early kidney disease often has no symptoms. It can be discovered with routine blood or urine tests at first.

When someone is being treated for kidney disease, a renal panel may be done at regular intervals for monitoring purposes.

What does a Renal Function Panel blood test check for?

A renal panel is a collection of tests that can be used to assess kidney function. To establish the current condition of the kidneys, the tests measure levels of numerous chemicals in the blood, including many minerals, electrolytes, proteins, and glucose.

The kidneys are a pair of bean-shaped organs placed on the right and left sides of the back at the bottom of the ribcage. They filter about 150 quarts of blood per day on average, eliminating waste products from food breakdown and normal cell activity. The kidneys produce urine to evacuate excess water from the body as well as waste materials from the bloodstream.

The kidneys assist in the regulation of pH and levels of essential chemicals in the body, such as potassium, sodium, calcium, phosphorus, chloride, and bicarbonate, by separating them from waste materials and releasing them back into the blood, releasing only as much or as little as is required to maintain normal blood levels.

Waste products can build up in the blood and fluid levels can rise to dangerous levels if the kidneys aren't working properly, causing damage to the body or a potentially life-threatening situation. Kidney injury can be caused by a variety of illnesses and diseases. Diabetes and hypertension are the most common causes of renal disease and major risk factors.

Lab tests often ordered with a Renal Function Panel test:

  • Albumin
  • Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN)
  • Basic Metabolic Panel (BMP)
  • CO2
  • Calcium
  • Chloride
  • Creatinine
  • Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP)
  • Cystatin C with eGFR
  • Electrolyte Panel
  • Glucose
  • Potassium
  • Phosphorus
  • Sodium
  • Microalbumin
  • Beta-2 Microglobulin
  • Complete Blood Count (CBC)
  • Urinalysis Complete
  • Urine Protein

Conditions where a Renal Function Panel test is recommended:

  • Kidney Disease
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Proteinuria
  • Hematuria

How does my health care provider use a Renal Function Panel test?

A renal panel can be used to assess kidney function, diagnose kidney-related illnesses, screen people who might develop kidney disease, or monitor someone who has already been diagnosed with kidney disease.

A urinalysis, urine protein, or creatinine clearance are some of the various laboratory tests that can be done to monitor kidney function. A urine albumin test, which analyzes small levels of albumin leakage from the blood into the urine, can also be used to detect early kidney impairment in people with diabetes or high blood pressure. An albumin/creatinine ratio can be estimated by measuring both albumin and creatinine in a random urine sample. This might be done to detect how much albumin is escaping from the kidneys into the urine more precisely.

What do my Renal Panel test results mean?

The findings of a renal panel test are not diagnostic; rather, they indicate that there may be a problem with the kidneys and that additional testing is needed to make a diagnosis and determine the reason. The panel's results are usually weighed jointly rather than separately. Individual test results may be abnormal for reasons other than kidney disease, but when combined with risks and/or signs and symptoms, they may indicate the presence of renal disease.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


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


Description: A Basic Metabolic Panel is a blood test used to screen for, diagnose, and monitor a variety of conditions and diseases such as diabetes and kidney disease.  

Also Known As: BMP, Chemistry Panel, Chemistry Screen, Chem 7, Chem 11, BMP Test, SMA 7, SMAC7, Basic Metabolic Test, Chem Test, Chem Panel Test 

Collection Method: Blood Draw 

Specimen Type: Serum 

Test Preparation: 9-12 hours fasting is preferred. 

When is a Basic Metabolic Panel test ordered?  

A BMP may be requested as part of a standard physical examination. 

The panel is frequently ordered in hospital emergency rooms because its components provide vital information regarding a person's renal state, electrolyte and acid/base balance, blood glucose, and calcium levels. Significant changes in these test results can suggest serious issues such as renal failure, insulin shock or diabetic coma, respiratory distress, or abnormalities in heart rhythm. 

What does a Basic Metabolic Panel blood test check for? 

The basic metabolic panel (BMP) is a 9-test panel that provides essential information to a health practitioner about a person's current metabolic status, including kidney health, blood glucose level, electrolyte and acid/base balance. Abnormal results, particularly when they are combined, can suggest a problem that needs to be addressed. 

The following tests are included in the BMP test: 

  • Bun/Creatinine Ratio: this is a ratio between your Urea Nitrogen (BUN) result and Creatinine result.  

  • Calcium: this is a measurement of calcium in your blood. Calcium is the most abundant and one of the most important minerals in the body as it essential for proper nerve, muscle, and heart function. Calcium is also used for blood clot formation and the formation and maintenance of bones and teeth. 

  • Carbon Dioxide: this is a measure of carbon dioxide in your blood. Carbon dioxide is a negatively charged electrolyte that works with other electrolytes such as chloride, potassium, and sodium to regulate the body’s acid-base balance and fluid levels.  

  • Chloride: this is a measure of Chloride in your blood. Chloride is a negatively charged electrolyte that works with other electrolytes such as potassium and sodium to regulate the body’s acid-base balance and fluid levels. 

  • Creatinine: this is a measure of Creatinine levels in your blood. Creatinine is created from the breakdown of creatine in your muscles and is removed from your body by the kidneys. Elevated creatinine levels are often associated with kidney damage. 

  • Egfr African American: this is a measure of how well your kidneys are functioning. Glomeruli are tiny filters in your kidneys that filter out waste products from your blood for removal while retaining important substances such as nutrients and blood cells. 

  • Egfr Non-Afr. American: this is a measure of how well your kidneys are functioning. Glomeruli are tiny filters in your kidneys that filter out waste products from your blood for removal while retaining important substances such as nutrients and blood cells. 

  • Glucose: this is a measure of glucose in your blood. Glucose is created from the breakdown of carbohydrates during digestion and is the body’s primary source of energy. 

  • Potassium: this is a measure of Potassium in your blood. Potassium is an electrolyte that plays a vital role in cell metabolism, nerve and muscle function, and transport of nutrients into cells and removal of wastes products out of cells. 

  • Sodium: this is a measure of Sodium in your blood. Sodium is an electrolyte that plays a vital role in nerve and muscle function. 

  • Urea Nitrogen (Bun): this is a measure of Urea Nitrogen in your blood, also known as Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN). Urea is a waste product created in the liver when proteins are broken down into amino acids. Elevated levels are often associated with kidney damage. 

Lab tests often ordered with a Basic Metabolic Panel test: 

  • Complete Blood Count with Differential and Platelets
  • Hemoglobin A1c
  • Iron and Total Iron Binding Capacity
  • Lipid Panel
  • Insulin
  • Vitamin B12 and Folate
  • C-Reactive Protein

Conditions where a Basic Metabolic Panel test is recommended: 

  • Diabetes 
  • Kidney Disease 
  • Liver Disease 

Commonly Asked Questions: 

How does my health care provider use a Basic Metabolic Panel test? 

The basic metabolic panel (BMP) is used to evaluate a person's kidney function, electrolyte, acid/base balance, and blood glucose level, all of which are linked to their metabolism. It can also be used to keep track of hospitalized patients and persons with known illnesses like hypertension and hypokalemia. 

If a health practitioner wants to track two or more separate BMP components, the full BMP might be ordered because it contains more information. Alternatively, when monitoring, the healthcare provider may order specific tests, such as a follow-up glucose, potassium, or calcium test, or an electrolyte panel to track sodium, potassium, chloride, and CO2. If a doctor needs further information, he or she can request a comprehensive metabolic panel (CMP), which is a collection of 21 tests that includes the BMP. 

What do my Basic Metabolic Panel results mean? 

The results of the tests included in the BMP are usually analyzed together to look for patterns. A single abnormal test result may indicate something different than a series of abnormal test findings. 

Out-of-range results on any of the BMP's tests can be caused by a number of things, including kidney failure, breathing issues, and diabetes-related consequences. If any of the results are abnormal, one or more follow-up tests are usually ordered to help determine the reason and/or establish a diagnosis. 

Is there anything else I should know? 

The results of the BMP components can be influenced by a range of prescription and over-the-counter medicines. Any medications you're taking should be disclosed to your healthcare professional. Similarly, it is critical to provide them with a thorough medical history because many other circumstances can influence how your results are interpreted. 

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.

Please note the following regarding BUN/Creatinine ratio: 

The lab does not report the calculation for the BUN/Creatinine Ratio unless one or both biomarkers’ results fall out of the published range. 

If you still wish to see the value, it's easy to calculate. Simply take your Urea Nitrogen (BUN) result and divide it by your Creatinine result.  

As an example, if your Urea Nitrogen result is 11 and your Creatinine result is 0.86, then you would divide 11 by 0.86 and get a BUN/Creatinine Ratio result of 12.79. 


Description: A Comprehensive Metabolic Panel or CMP is a blood test that is a combination of a Basic Metabolic Panel, a Liver Panel, and electrolyte panel, and is used to screen for, diagnose, and monitor a variety of conditions and diseases such as liver disease, diabetes, and kidney disease. 

Also Known As: CMP, Chem, Chem-14, Chem-12, Chem-21, Chemistry Panel, Chem Panel, Chem Screen, Chemistry Screen, SMA 12, SMA 20, SMA 21, SMAC, Chem test

Collection Method: 

Blood Draw 

Specimen Type: 

Serum 

Test Preparation: 

9-12 hours fasting is preferred. 

When is a Comprehensive Metabolic Panel test ordered:  

A CMP is frequently requested as part of a lab test for a medical evaluation or yearly physical. A CMP test consists of many different tests that give healthcare providers a range of information about your health, including liver and kidney function, electrolyte balance, and blood sugar levels. To confirm or rule out a suspected diagnosis, abnormal test results are frequently followed up with other tests that provide a more in depth or targeted analysis of key areas that need investigating. 

What does a Comprehensive Metabolic Panel blood test check for? 

The complete metabolic panel (CMP) is a set of 20 tests that provides critical information to a healthcare professional about a person's current metabolic status, check for liver or kidney disease, electrolyte and acid/base balance, and blood glucose and blood protein levels. Abnormal results, particularly when they are combined, can suggest a problem that needs to be addressed. 

The following tests are included in the CMP: 

  • Albumin: this is a measure of Albumin levels in your blood. Albumin is a protein made by the liver that is responsible for many vital roles including transporting nutrients throughout the body and preventing fluid from leaking out of blood vessels. 

  • Albumin/Globulin Ratio: this is a ratio between your total Albumin and Globulin  

  • Alkaline Phosphatase: this is a measure of Alkaline phosphatase or ALP in your blood. Alkaline phosphatase is a protein found in all body tissues, however the ALP found in blood comes from the liver and bones. Elevated levels are often associated with liver damage, gallbladder disease, or bone disorder. 

  • Alt: this is a measure of Alanine transaminase or ALT in your blood. Alanine Aminotransferase is an enzyme found in the highest amounts in the liver with small amounts in the heart and muscles. Elevated levels are often associated with liver damage. 

  • AST: this is a measure of Aspartate Aminotransferase or AST. Aspartate Aminotransferase is an enzyme found mostly in the heart and liver, with smaller amounts in the kidney and muscles. Elevated levels are often associated with liver damage. 

  • Bilirubin, Total: this is a measure of bilirubin in your blood. Bilirubin is an orange-yellowish waste product produced from the breakdown of heme which is a component of hemoglobin found in red blood cells. The liver is responsible for removal of bilirubin from the body. 

  • Bun/Creatinine Ratio: this is a ratio between your Urea Nitrogen (BUN) result and Creatinine result.  

  • Calcium: this is a measurement of calcium in your blood. Calcium is the most abundant and one of the most important minerals in the body as it essential for proper nerve, muscle, and heart function. 

  • Calcium: is used for blood clot formation and the formation and maintenance of bones and teeth. 

  • Carbon Dioxide: this is a measure of carbon dioxide in your blood. Carbon dioxide is a negatively charged electrolyte that works with other electrolytes such as chloride, potassium, and sodium to regulate the body’s acid-base balance and fluid levels.  

  • Chloride: this is a measure of Chloride in your blood. Chloride is a negatively charged electrolyte that works with other electrolytes such as potassium and sodium to regulate the body’s acid-base balance and fluid levels. 

  • Creatinine: this is a measure of Creatinine levels in your blood. Creatinine is created from the breakdown of creatine in your muscles and is removed from your body by the kidneys. Elevated creatinine levels are often associated with kidney damage. 

  • Egfr African American: this is a measure of how well your kidneys are functioning. Glomeruli are tiny filters in your kidneys that filter out waste products from your blood for removal while retaining important substances such as nutrients and blood cells. 

  • Egfr Non-Afr. American: this is a measure of how well your kidneys are functioning. Glomeruli are tiny filters in your kidneys that filter out waste products from your blood for removal while retaining important substances such as nutrients and blood cells. 

  • Globulin: this is a measure of all blood proteins in your blood that are not albumin. 

  • Glucose: this is a measure of glucose in your blood. Glucose is created from the breakdown of carbohydrates during digestion and is the body’s primary source of energy. 

  • Potassium: this is a measure of Potassium in your blood. Potassium is an electrolyte that plays a vital role in cell metabolism, nerve and muscle function, and transport of nutrients into cells and removal of wastes products out of cells. 

  • Protein, Total: this is a measure of total protein levels in your blood. 
    Sodium: this is a measure of Sodium in your blood. Sodium is an electrolyte that plays a vital role in nerve and muscle function. 

  • Sodium: this is a measure of sodium in your blood's serum. Sodium is a vital mineral for nerve and muscle cell function.

  • Urea Nitrogen (Bun): this is a measure of Urea Nitrogen in your blood, also known as Blood UreaNitrogen (BUN). Urea is a waste product created in the liver when proteins are broken down into amino acids. Elevated levels are often associated with kidney damage. 

Lab tests often ordered with a Comprehensive Metabolic Panel test: 

  • Complete Blood Count with Differential and Platelets
  • Iron and Total Iron Binding Capacity
  • Lipid Panel
  • Vitamin B12 and Folate
  • Prothrombin with INR and Partial Thromboplastin Times
  • Sed Rate (ESR)
  • C-Reactive Protein

Conditions where a Comprehensive Metabolic Panel test is recommended: 

  • Diabetes
  • Kidney Disease
  • Liver Disease
  • Hypertension

Commonly Asked Questions: 

How does my health care provider use a Comprehensive Metabolic Panel test? 

The comprehensive metabolic panel (CMP) is a broad screening tool for assessing organ function and detecting diseases like diabetes, liver disease, and kidney disease. The CMP test may also be requested to monitor known disorders such as hypertension and to check for any renal or liver-related side effects in persons taking specific drugs. If a health practitioner wants to follow two or more separate CMP components, the full CMP might be ordered because it contains more information. 

What do my Comprehensive Metabolic Panel test results mean? 

The results of the tests included in the CMP are usually analyzed together to look for patterns. A single abnormal test result may indicate something different than a series of abnormal test findings. A high result on one of the liver enzyme tests, for example, is not the same as a high result on several liver enzyme tests. 

Several sets of CMPs, frequently performed on various days, may be examined to gain insights into the underlying disease and response to treatment, especially in hospitalized patients. 

Out-of-range findings for any of the CMP tests can be caused by a variety of illnesses, including kidney failure, breathing issues, and diabetes-related complications, to name a few. If any of the results are abnormal, one or more follow-up tests are usually ordered to help determine the reason and/or establish a diagnosis. 

Is there anything else I should know? 

A wide range of prescription and over-the-counter medications can have an impact on the results of the CMP's components. Any medications you're taking should be disclosed to your healthcare professional. Similarly, it is critical to provide a thorough history because many other circumstances can influence how your results are interpreted. 

What's the difference between the CMP and the BMP tests, and why would my doctor choose one over the other? 

The CMP consists of 14 tests, while the basic metabolic panel (BMP) is a subset of those with eight tests. The liver (ALP, ALT, AST, and bilirubin) and protein (albumin and total protein) tests are not included. If a healthcare provider wants a more thorough picture of a person's organ function or to check for specific illnesses like diabetes or liver or kidney disease, he or she may prescribe a CMP rather than a BMP. 

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.

Please note the following regarding BUN/Creatinine ratio: 

The lab does not report the calculation for the BUN/Creatinine Ratio unless one or both biomarkers’ results fall out of the published range. 

If you still wish to see the value, it's easy to calculate. Simply take your Urea Nitrogen (BUN) result and divide it by your Creatinine result.  

As an example, if your Urea Nitrogen result is 11 and your Creatinine result is 0.86, then you would divide 11 by 0.86 and get a BUN/Creatinine Ratio result of 12.79. 


Description: A Urinalysis complete test is a urine test that is used to screen for, diagnose, and monitor a variety of conditions and diseases urinary tract infections and kidney disorders.

Also Known As: Urine Test, Urine Analysis Test, UA Test, urine microscopic examination Test, Urinalysis Test, Complete Urinalysis Test

Collection Method: Urine Collection

Specimen Type: Urine

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is a Urinalysis Complete test ordered?

A urinalysis test may be ordered when a person undergoes a routine wellness examination, is admitted into a hospital, will have surgery, or is having a prenatal checkup.

When a person visits a doctor with symptoms of a urinary tract infection or another urinary system ailment, such as kidney disease, a urinalysis will almost certainly be prescribed. The following are some possible signs and symptoms:

  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Backache
  • Urination that is painful or occurs frequently
  • Urine with blood in it

Testing may also be conducted at regular intervals to track the progress of a condition.

What does a Urinalysis Complete test check for?

A urinalysis is a series of examinations done on urine that are physical, chemical, and microscopic. The tests identify and/or measure a number of elements in the urine, including cells, cellular fragments, and microbes. These elements include byproducts of healthy and unhealthy metabolism.

Urine is produced by the kidneys, two fist-sized organs located on either side of the spine near the base of the rib cage. The kidneys help the body regulate its water balance, filter wastes from the blood, and store proteins, electrolytes, and other molecules for later use. To get rid of everything unnecessary, urine travels from the kidneys to the ureters, bladder, and urethra before exiting the body. The color, amount, concentration, and content of urine will change slightly every time a person urinates due to the varied elements in urine, despite the fact that pee is normally yellow and clear.

By screening for components in the urine that aren't typically present and/or monitoring aberrant levels of specific substances, many illnesses can be caught early on. Glucose, bilirubin, protein, red and white blood cells, crystals, and germs are among examples. They could be present because of the following reasons:

  • The body responds to an elevated amount of the substance in the blood by attempting to remove the excess through urine.
  • There is a problem with the kidneys.
  • As with bacteria and white blood cells, there is a urinary tract infection present.

Three separate phases make up a full urinalysis:

  • The color and clarity of the urine are assessed using a visual examination.
  • Chemical examination, which determines the concentration of urine and tests for roughly 9 chemicals that provide useful information about health and disease.
  • Microscopic inspection that identifies and counts the different types of cells, casts, crystals, and other components found in urine, such as bacteria and mucus.

When abnormal results are found, or if a healthcare provider requests it, a microscopic analysis is usually performed.

It may be essential to repeat the test if the findings of a urinalysis are abnormal, and further other urine and blood tests may be needed to help establish a diagnosis, if the results are abnormal.

Lab tests often ordered with a Urinalysis Complete test:

  • Complete Blood Count
  • Iron Total and Total Iron binding capacity
  • Hemoglobin A1c
  • Lipid Panel
  • CMP
  • TSH
  • Urine Culture
  • Bilirubin Fractionated
  • Glucose

Conditions where a Urinalysis Complete test is recommended:

  • Diabetes
  • Kidney Disease
  • Liver Disease
  • Hypertension
  • Pregnancy
  • Hematuria
  • Proteinuria
  • Kidney Stones

How does my health care provider use a Urinalysis Complete test?

A urinalysis is a series of tests that can diagnose a variety of disorders. It can be used to screen for and/or diagnose a variety of illnesses, including urinary tract infections, renal abnormalities, liver diseases, diabetes, and other metabolic disorders, to name a few.

Urinalysis may be used in conjunction with other tests, such as urine albumin, to monitor the progress of treatment in patients with diseases or conditions like diabetes or kidney disease.

What do my urinalysis complete test results mean?

There are numerous ways to interpret the results of a urinalysis. Unusual results are a warning sign that something isn't right and needs further testing.  To connect the urinalysis results with an individual's symptoms and clinical findings and to look for the causes of aberrant findings, other targeted tests must be done, such as a complete blood count, metabolic panel, or urine culture.

It is more likely that a problem must be addressed the higher the concentration of the atypical component, such as noticeably increased levels of protein, glucose, or red blood cells. On the other hand, the outcomes do not inform the medical professional as to what led to the finding or whether it is a transient or ongoing sickness.

A normal urinalysis does not rule out the possibility of disease. Early in a disease process, some persons will not release elevated amounts of a drug, and others will release them irregularly throughout the day, which means they could be overlooked by a single urine sample. Small amounts of substances may be undetectable in very dilute urine.

NOTE: Only measurable biomarkers will be reported.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


Description: A Urinalysis complete test is a urine test that is used to screen for, diagnose, and monitor a variety of conditions and diseases urinary tract infections (UTIs) and kidney disorders.

A Urine Culture test is a test that is used to identify bacteria or foreign organisms in urine and test for antibiotic susceptibilities.

Also Known As: Urine Test, Urine Analysis Test, UA Test, urine microscopic examination, Urine Culture Test, Urine Culture and Sensitivity test, Urine C and S test, UTI test, Culture Urine test

Collection Method: Urine Collection

Specimen Type: Urine

Test Preparation: No preparation required

IMPORTANT - If initial testing results in a Reflex to Culture, the lab will add and charge for Culture, Urine, Routine #395 for $29.

If you need just a Urinalysis, Complete test, order Urinalysis (UA), Complete #5463

Culture, Urine, Routine #395 can Reflex to additional testing and charges, detailed below, if Culture is positive.

If culture is positive, CPT code(s): 87088 (each isolate) will be added with an additional charge.  Identification will be performed at an additional charge (CPT code(s): 87077 or 87140 or 87143 or 87147 or 87149).

Antibiotic susceptibilities are only performed when appropriate (CPT code(s): 87181 or 87184 or 87185 or 87186).

  • ORG ID 1. $ 12.45 
  • ORG ID 2. $ 23.95 
  • PRESUMPTIVE ID 1. $ 12.45 
  • PRESUMPTIVE ID 2. $ 23.95 
  • SUSC-1  $14.95 
  • SUSC-2  $28.95

When is a Urinalysis with Reflex to Culture test ordered?

A urinalysis test may be ordered when a person undergoes a routine wellness examination, is admitted into a hospital, will have surgery, or is having a prenatal checkup.

When a person visits a doctor with symptoms of a urinary tract infection or another urinary system ailment, such as kidney disease, a urinalysis will almost certainly be prescribed. The following are some possible signs and symptoms:

  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Backache
  • Urination that is painful or occurs frequently
  • Urine with blood in it

Testing may also be conducted at regular intervals to track the progress of a condition.

A urine culture may be administered in conjunction with a urinalysis or as a follow-up to abnormal urinalysis results.

Urinary tract infections can cause pressure in the lower abdomen as well as small quantities of blood in the urine. If the UTI is severe and/or has gone to the kidneys, it can cause symptoms such as flank pain, high fever, trembling, chills, nausea, and vomiting.

For young women with signs or symptoms of a UTI and an uncomplicated lower urinary tract infection, antibiotics may be administered without obtaining a urine culture. A urine culture is advised if there is a suspicion of a complex infection or if symptoms do not respond to first treatment.

Pregnant women without symptoms should be examined for bacteria in their urine during their first trimester or first prenatal appointment, as bacteria in the urine can harm the growing baby's health.

What does a Urinalysis with Reflex to Urine Culture test check for?

A urinalysis is a series of examinations done on urine that are physical, chemical, and microscopic. The tests identify and/or measure a number of elements in the urine, including cells, cellular fragments, and microbes. These elements include byproducts of healthy and unhealthy metabolism.

Urine is produced by the kidneys, two fist-sized organs located on either side of the spine near the base of the rib cage. The kidneys help the body regulate its water balance, filter wastes from the blood, and store proteins, electrolytes, and other molecules for later use. To get rid of everything unnecessary, urine travels from the kidneys to the ureters, bladder, and urethra before exiting the body. The color, amount, concentration, and content of urine will change slightly every time a person urinates due to the varied elements in urine, despite the fact that pee is normally yellow and clear.

By screening for components in the urine that aren't typically present and/or monitoring aberrant levels of specific substances, many illnesses can be caught early on. Glucose, bilirubin, protein, red and white blood cells, crystals, and germs are among examples. They could be present because of the following reasons:

  • The body responds to an elevated amount of the substance in the blood by attempting to remove the excess through urine.
  • There is a problem with the kidneys.
  • As with bacteria and white blood cells, there is a urinary tract infection present.

Three separate phases make up a full urinalysis:

  • The color and clarity of the urine are assessed using a visual examination.
  • Chemical examination, which determines the concentration of urine and tests for roughly 9 chemicals that provide useful information about health and disease.
  • Microscopic inspection that identifies and counts the different types of cells, casts, crystals, and other components found in urine, such as bacteria and mucus.

When abnormal results are found, or if a healthcare provider requests it, a microscopic analysis is usually performed.

It may be essential to repeat the test if the findings of a urinalysis are abnormal, and further other urine and blood tests may be needed to help establish a diagnosis, if the results are abnormal.

Urine culture is a test that detects and identifies bacteria and yeast in the urine that could be the source of a urinary tract infection.

A small amount of urine is placed on one or more agar plates and incubated at body temperature for a urine culture. Any bacteria or yeast present in the urine sample will grow into little circular colonies during the next 24 to 48 hours. The number of colonies and the size, shape, and color of these colonies assist identify which bacteria are present in the urine sample, and the number of colonies shows the amount of bacteria that were initially present in the urine sample. A laboratory technician counts the total number of colonies on the agar plate and determines how many types have grown. If a good, clean catch sample was taken for the test, the only bacteria found should be from an infection. Typically, there will be only one variety of bacterium present in relatively significant quantities. More than one type of bacteria may be present at any given time. This could be the result of a multi-pathogen infection, although it's more likely owing to contamination from the skin picked up during the urine collection.

A gram stain will be performed on a colony from each type by the laboratory technician. The bacteria are examined under a microscope by the laboratory technician. Different species of bacteria will have distinct colors and forms. Under a microscope, the bacterium Escherichia coli, which is responsible for the majority of urinary tract infections, will appear as gram-negative rods. Lactobacillus, a frequent vaginal contaminant found in women's urine, will show up as gram-positive rods. Some bacteria, such as Lactobacillus, are easy to detect by a skilled lab technician, are nonpathogenic, and do not require additional research. Others, such as gram-negative rods, represent clusters of identical bacteria that will necessitate extra testing to determine which bacteria are present.

After 24 to 48 hours of incubation, if there is no or little growth on the agar, the urine culture is declared negative for pathogens and the culture is complete. If one or more pathogens are found, more testing is done. Testing is performed to determine which bacteria are present, as well as susceptibility testing to determine which antibiotics are most likely to cure the infection.

Lab tests often ordered with a Urinalysis with Reflex to Culture test:

  • Complete Blood Count (CBC)
  • Iron and Total Iron Capacity
  • Hemoglobin A1c
  • Lipid Panel
  • Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP)
  • TSH
  • Bilirubin Fractionated
  • Glucose
  • C-Reactive Protein
  • ANA
  • Rheumatoid Factor

Conditions where a Urinalysis with Reflex to Culture test is recommended:

  • Diabetes
  • Kidney Disease
  • Liver Disease
  • Hypertension
  • Pregnancy
  • Hematuria
  • Urinary Tract Infection

How does my health care provider use a Urinalysis with Reflex to Culture test?

A urinalysis is a series of tests that can diagnose a variety of disorders. It can be used to screen for and/or diagnose a variety of illnesses, including urinary tract infections, renal abnormalities, liver diseases, diabetes, and other metabolic disorders, to name a few.

Urinalysis may be used in conjunction with other tests, such as urine albumin, to monitor the progress of treatment in patients with diseases or conditions like diabetes or kidney disease.

The urine culture is often used to diagnose a urinary tract infection and to identify the bacteria or yeast that is causing it. It can be used in conjunction with susceptibility testing to discover which drugs will stop the infection-causing bacterium from growing. The findings will aid a doctor in determining which treatments are most likely to be beneficial in treating a patient's infection.

The kidneys, a pair of bean-shaped organs positioned near the bottom of the ribcage on the right and left sides of the back, produce urine. To transport wastes out of the body, the kidneys filter waste from the blood and generate urine, a yellow fluid. Urine goes from the kidneys to the bladder, where it is briefly stored, and then via the urethra to be emptied. Urine is normally sterile, but bacteria or, more rarely, yeast can migrate up the urinary tract from the skin outside the urethra and produce a urinary tract infection.

The majority of UTIs are considered simple and treatable. The infection may spread up through the ureters and into the kidneys if they are not treated. A kidney infection is more hazardous and can result in renal damage that is irreversible. In some situations, a urinary tract infection can escalate to a life-threatening infection in the bloodstream.

People with renal disease or other illnesses that impact the kidneys, such as diabetes or kidney stones, as well as people with compromised immune systems, may be more susceptible to UTIs.

What do my Urinalysis test results mean?

There are numerous ways to interpret the results of a urinalysis. Unusual results are a warning sign that something isn't right and needs further testing.  To connect the urinalysis results with an individual's symptoms and clinical findings and to look for the causes of aberrant findings, other targeted tests must be done, such as a complete blood count, metabolic panel, or urine culture.

It is more likely that a problem must be addressed the higher the concentration of the atypical component, such as noticeably increased levels of protein, glucose, or red blood cells. On the other hand, the outcomes do not inform the medical professional as to what led to the finding or whether it is a transient or ongoing sickness.

A normal urinalysis does not rule out the possibility of disease. Early in a disease process, some persons will not release elevated amounts of a drug, and others will release them irregularly throughout the day, which means they could be overlooked by a single urine sample. Small amounts of substances may be undetectable in very dilute urine.

What do my Urine Culture test results mean?

Urine culture results are frequently interpreted in conjunction with urinalysis results, as well as how the sample was taken and whether symptoms are present. Because certain urine samples may contain bacteria that are ordinarily found on the skin, some culture results must be interpreted with caution.

A positive urine culture is usually defined as the presence of a single kind of bacteria growing at high colony counts. Cultures containing more than 100,000 CFU/mL of one species of bacteria in clean catch samples that have been correctly collected usually indicate infection. Even if an infection is present, there may not be a large number of germs present in some circumstances. Lower levels can sometimes suggest infection, particularly if symptoms are present. Similarly, values of 1,000 to 100,000 CFU/mL may be deemed significant for samples acquired using a technique that reduces contamination, such as a sample collected with a catheter.

Although UTIs can be caused by a variety of bacteria, the majority are caused by Escherichia coli, a kind of bacteria that is widespread in the digestive tract and frequently detected in stool. Proteus, Klebsiella, Enterococcus, and Staphylococcus are among the bacteria that can cause UTIs. A yeast infection, such as Candida albicans, can cause a UTI, but urethritis is more commonly caused by a sexually transmitted illness, such as herpes, chlamydia, or gonorrhea.

When a culture says "no growth in 24 or 48 hours," it usually means there isn't an infection. If the symptoms persist, a urine culture on a new sample may be performed to test for bacteria with reduced colony numbers or other microorganisms that could be causing the symptoms. Acute urethral syndrome is defined as the presence of white blood cells and low quantities of bacteria in a sick person's urine.

If multiple different species of bacteria thrive in a culture, the growth is almost certainly due to contamination. This is notably true in urine samples containing Lactobacillus and/or other prevalent nonpathogenic vaginal bacteria in women. If the symptoms persist, the healthcare provider may order a second culture on a more thoroughly collected sample. However, if one species of bacteria has considerably larger colony counts than the others, such as 100,000 CFUs/mL versus 1,000 CFUs/mL, further testing to determine the dominating bacterium may be required.

Susceptibility testing may be used to guide treatment if a culture is positive. Any bacterial infection can be dangerous and, if left untreated, can spread to other parts of the body. Pain is frequently the first sign of infection. Treatment as soon as possible, generally with antibiotics, will help to relieve the pain.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.

NOTE: Only measurable biomarkers will be reported.



See individual analytes

Description: The Beta 2 Microglobulin test is a blood test used to detect the protein Beta-2 Microglobulin in your blood’s serum, and is used in the examination of multiple myeloma and lymphoma.

Also Known As: B2M Test, β2-Microglobulin Test, Thymotaxin Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is a Beta-2 Microglobulin test ordered?

This test may be requested during the initial examination of a patient with multiple myeloma in order to stage the condition as well as on an ongoing basis to assess disease activity and track the efficacy of treatment. When a person has myeloma or lymphoma, it may occasionally be requested to help evaluate their prognosis.

What does a Beta-2 Microglobulin test check for?

Almost every cell in the body has beta-2 microglobulin on its surface. Cells, notably B lymphocytes and tumor cells, release this protein into the blood. It is found in the majority of bodily fluids, and when the immune system is stimulated or when cell creation and/or destruction are increased, its level rises.

With tumors like multiple myeloma and lymphoma, as well as with inflammatory conditions and infections, B2M is typically high in the blood. B2M may be useful as a tumor marker because it is elevated in blood cell malignancies. This page concentrates on its usage as a tumor marker, despite the fact that it can be used to evaluate kidney function.

Blood cell malignancies that have migrated to the brain, such lymphoma, as well as some chronic diseases like multiple sclerosis and viral infections like HIV can cause a rise in the B2M level in the CSF of affected individuals.

Lab tests often ordered with a Beta-2 Microglobulin test:

  • Albumin
  • Tumor Markers

Conditions where a Beta-2 Microglobulin test is recommended:

  • Cancer
  • Multiple Myeloma
  • Lymphoma

How does my health care provider use a Beta-2 Microglobulin test?

On the surface of almost every cell in the body is beta-2 microglobulin. This protein is released into the blood by cells, particularly B lymphocytes and tumor cells. The majority of body fluids contain it, and its level increases when the immune system is activated or when cell formation and/or destruction are elevated.

B2M is generally elevated in the blood with cancers such multiple myeloma and lymphoma, as well as with inflammatory diseases and infections. Due to the fact that B2M is raised in blood cell malignancies, it may be useful as a tumor marker. Despite the fact that it can be used to assess kidney function, this page focuses on its use as a tumor marker.

A spike in the B2M level in the CSF of affected people can be brought on by blood cell malignancies that have spread to the brain, including lymphoma, as well as some chronic conditions like multiple sclerosis and viral infections like HIV.

What do my Beta-2 Microglobulin test results mean?

Increased levels of B2M in the blood and/or urine point to a problem but do not serve as a diagnosis for any particular illness or condition. They do, however, represent the level of cancer present and the severity of the disease. If the B2M level is highly raised, someone who has been diagnosed with multiple myeloma or lymphoma is likely to have a worse prognosis.

When multiple myeloma is being treated, a patient's levels should gradually decline over time to show whether the patient is improving. Levels that are stable or rising suggest that the subject is not responding.

Increases in the CSF in a person with an illness like HIV/AIDS suggest that the central nervous system is probably involved.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


Description: A BUN/Creatinine ratio test is a blood test that measures levels of Urea Nitrogen and Creatinine in your blood and is useful in the diagnosis of renal disease.

Also Known As: Urea Nitrogen and Creatinine Ratio test, BUN test, Urea test, Urea Nitrogen test, Creat test, Blood Creatinine Test, Serum Creatinine Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is a BUN Creatinine Ratio test ordered?

BUN is a component of the BMP and CMP, two categories of widely-used tests:

  • as part of a regular health examination
  • prior to beginning the use of specific pharmacological therapy, determine how well the kidneys are functioning.
  • When a patient who is critically ill visits the emergency room or is admitted to the hospital

When kidney problems are suspected during a hospital stay, BUN is frequently ordered along with creatinine or a renal panel. Kidney dysfunction can show several indications and symptoms, such as:

  • fatigue, inability to focus, poor appetite, or difficulty sleeping
  • Swelling or puffiness, especially in the face, wrists, abdomen, thighs, or ankles or around the eyes
  • Foamy, bloody, or coffee-colored urine
  • a reduction in the urine's volume
  • problems urinating, such as a burning sensation or an unusual discharge, or a change in frequency, particularly at night
  • discomfort in the middle of the back, below the ribs, and next to the kidneys
  • elevated blood pressure

BUN may also be required for:

  • Patients with long-term illnesses or conditions like diabetes, congestive heart failure, and myocardial infarction should have regular kidney function checks.
  • monitoring renal function and treatment at frequent intervals in individuals with known kidney disease
  • Monitoring kidney function both before and after taking specific medications
  • When a CT scan is anticipated, furthermore to a creatinine
  • periodically to check on the efficiency of the dialysis

During a health examination, a routine metabolic panel that includes creatinine may be ordered. It might be prescribed if a patient is critically ill or if a doctor has reason to believe that their kidneys aren't functioning properly. Kidney dysfunction can show several indications and symptoms, such as:

  • fatigue, inability to focus, poor appetite, or difficulty sleeping
  • Swelling or puffiness, especially in the face, wrists, abdomen, thighs, or ankles, or around the eyes
  • Foamy, bloody, or coffee-colored urine
  • a reduction in the urine's volume
  • problems urinating, such as a burning sensation or an unusual discharge, or a change in frequency, particularly at night
  • discomfort in the middle of the back, below the ribs, and next to the kidneys
  • elevated blood pressure

When a person has a known kidney ailment or a condition that could impair kidney function, a creatinine blood test may be prescribed along with a BUN test, urine albumin, and other tests on a regular basis. When a CT scan is anticipated, before and throughout some medication regimens, as well as before and after dialysis, both BUN and creatinine may be requested to check the efficacy of treatments.

What does a BUN Creatinine Ratio test check for?

When protein is broken down into its constituent parts in the liver, urea is produced as a waste product. Ammonia is created during this process, and it is later changed into the less harmful waste product urea. This examination counts the urea nitrogen levels in the blood.

Ammonia and urea both contain nitrogen as an ingredient. Because urea contains nitrogen and because the body excretes excess nitrogen via urea/urea nitrogen, the terms urea and urea nitrogen are sometimes used interchangeably. The liver releases urea into the blood, which travels to the kidneys where it is removed from the circulation and discharged as urine. Since this is a continuous process, urea nitrogen levels in the blood are typically low and steady.

The majority of illnesses or ailments that affect the liver or kidneys have the potential to have an impact on the blood's urea content. Urea concentrations in the blood will increase if the liver produces more urea or if the kidneys are not functioning properly and are having trouble removing wastes from the blood. BUN values may decrease if severe liver illness or injury prevents the synthesis of urea.

Muscles release creatinine as a waste product after breaking down a substance called creatine. The kidneys eliminate creatinine from the body by filtering nearly all of it from the blood and releasing it into the urine. The creatinine level in the blood and/or urine is determined by this test.

The process that creates the energy required to contract muscles includes creatine. The body produces both creatine and creatinine at a fairly steady rate. Blood levels are typically a good indication of how well the kidneys are functioning since the kidneys filter almost all of the creatinine from the blood and release it into the urine. The amount created is influenced by a person's size and muscular mass. As a result, men's creatinine levels will be a little bit greater than those of women and children.

Calculations that are used to assess kidney function can be done using data from a blood creatinine test in conjunction with data from other tests, including a 24-hour urine creatinine test.

Lab tests often ordered with a BUN Creatinine Ratio test:

  • Urine Protein
  • eGFR
  • Creatinine Clearance
  • Comprehensive Metabolic Panel
  • Basic Metabolic Panel
  • Cystatin C
  • Renal Panel
  • Urinalysis
  • Microalbumin
  • Beta-2 Microglobin

Conditions where a BUN Creatinine Ratio test is recommended:

  • Kidney Disease
  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Proteinuria

How does my health care provider use a BUN Creatinine Ratio test?

The creatinine test and blood urea nitrogen tests are primarily used to assess kidney function under various conditions, aid in the diagnosis of kidney illness, and keep track of persons who have either acute or chronic renal failure or dysfunction. When requested as a component of a renal panel, basic metabolic panel, or comprehensive metabolic panel, it may also be used to assess a person's overall health state.

When protein is digested in the liver, urea is produced as a waste product. The liver releases urea into the blood, which travels to the kidneys where it is removed from the circulation and discharged as urine. Since this is a continuous process, urea nitrogen levels in the blood are typically low and steady. However, the level of urea in the blood will increase if the kidneys become diseased or damaged and are unable to remove waste products from the blood.

The kidneys are a pair of bean-shaped organs that are situated on the right and left sides of the back at the base of the ribcage. They include around a million nephrons, which are very small blood filtering organs. Blood is continuously filtered via a glomerulus, a tiny collection of looping blood arteries, in each nephron. Water and tiny molecules can pass through the glomerulus, while blood cells and bigger molecules are retained. Each glomerulus has a little tube attached to it that gathers the fluid and molecules that flow through it and reabsorbs what the body can use. Urine is created by the leftover waste.

Creatinine and BUN tests may be performed to monitor for renal dysfunction and the efficacy of treatment if the results are abnormal or if a person has an underlying condition known to impact the kidneys, such as diabetes or high blood pressure. Before some procedures, such a CT scan, that can call for the use of medications that can harm the kidneys, such as creatinine and BUN tests in the blood may also be prescribed to assess renal function.

What do my BUN Creatinine Ratio test results mean?

BUN levels that are higher indicate poor renal health. This could be brought on by failure, injury, or acute or chronic renal disease. A condition that reduces blood flow to the kidneys, such as congestive heart failure, shock, stress, a recent heart attack, or serious burns, as well as conditions that impede urine flow or dehydration, may also be to blame.

When there is excessive protein breakdown, a considerable rise in the amount of protein in the diet, or gastrointestinal bleeding, BUN values may be increased.

Low BUN levels are rare and typically not reason for alarm. The BUN test is not typically used to diagnose or monitor these disorders, but they may appear in severe liver illness, malnutrition, and occasionally when a person is overhydrated.

BUN values may be normal even in the presence of substantial malfunction in the other kidney if one kidney is fully functional.

Blood creatinine levels that are higher than normal point to renal disease or other disorders that have an impact on kidney function. These may consist of:

For instance, infections or autoimmune illnesses can cause kidney blood vessels to enlarge or become damaged.

  • infection of the kidneys with bacteria
  • death of kidney cells brought on by chemicals or medications, for instance, in the tiny tubes of the kidneys
  • Urinary tract obstruction can be brought on by prostate disease, kidney stones, or other conditions.
  • reduced renal blood flow brought on by shock, dehydration, congestive heart failure, atherosclerosis, or diabetes-related problems

Although they are uncommon, low blood creatinine levels are often not a cause for alarm. They can be observed in diseases that cause a loss of muscular mass.

As part of a creatinine clearance test, 24-hour urine creatinine levels are compared to blood levels.

There are no established reference ranges for single, random urine creatinine values. They are typically used in conjunction with other exams to compare levels of other chemicals detected in urine. The urine albumin test, the urine albumin/creatinine ratio, and the urine protein test are a few examples.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.



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.


Description: A CBC or Complete Blood Count with Differential and Platelets test is a blood test that measures many important features of your blood’s red and white blood cells and platelets. A Complete Blood Count can be used to evaluate your overall health and detect a wide variety of conditions such as infection, anemia, and leukemia. It also looks at other important aspects of your blood health such as hemoglobin, which carries oxygen. 

Also Known As: CBC test, Complete Blood Count Test, Total Blood Count Test, CBC with Differential and Platelets test, Hemogram test  

Collection Method: Blood Draw 

Specimen Type: Whole Blood 

Test Preparation: No preparation required 

When is a Complete Blood Count test ordered?  

The complete blood count (CBC) is an extremely common test. When people go to the doctor for a standard checkup or blood work, they often get a CBC. Suppose a person is healthy and their results are within normal ranges. In that case, they may not need another CBC unless their health condition changes, or their healthcare professional believes it is necessary. 

When a person exhibits a variety of signs and symptoms that could be connected to blood cell abnormalities, a CBC may be done. A health practitioner may request a CBC to help diagnose and determine the severity of lethargy or weakness, as well as infection, inflammation, bruises, or bleeding. 

When a person is diagnosed with a disease that affects blood cells, a CBC is frequently done regularly to keep track of their progress. Similarly, if someone is being treated for a blood condition, a CBC may be performed on a regular basis to see if the treatment is working. 

Chemotherapy, for example, can influence the generation of cells in the bone marrow. Some drugs can lower WBC counts in the long run. To monitor various medication regimens, a CBC may be required on a regular basis. 

What does a Complete Blood Count test check for? 

The complete blood count (CBC) is a blood test that determines the number of cells in circulation. White blood cells (WBCs), red blood cells (RBCs), and platelets (PLTs) are three types of cells suspended in a fluid called plasma. They are largely created and matured in the bone marrow and are released into the bloodstream when needed under normal circumstances. 

A CBC is mainly performed with an automated machine that measures a variety of factors, including the number of cells present in a person's blood sample. The findings of a CBC can reveal not only the quantity of different cell types but also the physical properties of some of the cells. 

Significant differences in one or more blood cell populations may suggest the presence of one or more diseases. Other tests are frequently performed to assist in determining the reason for aberrant results. This frequently necessitates visual confirmation via a microscope examination of a blood smear. A skilled laboratory technician can assess the appearance and physical features of blood cells, such as size, shape, and color, and note any anomalies. Any extra information is taken note of and communicated to the healthcare provider. This information provides the health care provider with further information about the cause of abnormal CBC results. 

The CBC focuses on three different types of cells: 

WBCs (White Blood Cells) 

The body uses five different types of WBCs, also known as leukocytes, to keep itself healthy and battle infections and other types of harm. The five different leukocytes are eosinophiles, lymphocytes, neutrophiles, basophils, and monocytes. They are found in relatively steady numbers in the blood. Depending on what is going on in the body, these values may momentarily rise or fall. An infection, for example, can cause the body to manufacture more neutrophils in order to combat bacterial infection. The amount of eosinophils in the body may increase as a result of allergies. A viral infection may cause an increase in lymphocyte production. Abnormal (immature or mature) white cells multiply fast in certain illness situations, such as leukemia, raising the WBC count. 

RBCs (Red Blood Cells) 

The bone marrow produces red blood cells, also known as erythrocytes, which are transferred into the bloodstream after maturing. Hemoglobin, a protein that distributes oxygen throughout the body, is found in these cells. Because RBCs have a 120-day lifespan, the bone marrow must constantly manufacture new RBCs to replace those that have aged and disintegrated or have been lost due to hemorrhage. A variety of diseases, including those that cause severe bleeding, can alter the creation of new RBCs and their longevity. 

The CBC measures the number of RBCs and hemoglobin in the blood, as well as the proportion of RBCs in the blood (hematocrit), and if the RBC population appears to be normal. RBCs are generally homogeneous in size and shape, with only minor differences; however, considerable variances can arise in illnesses including vitamin B12 and folate inadequacy, iron deficiency, and a range of other ailments. Anemia occurs when the concentration of red blood cells and/or the amount of hemoglobin in the blood falls below normal, resulting in symptoms such as weariness and weakness. In a far smaller percentage of cases, there may be an excess of RBCs in the blood (erythrocytosis or polycythemia). This might obstruct the flow of blood through the tiny veins and arteries in extreme circumstances. 

Platelets 

Platelets, also known as thrombocytes, are small cell fragments that aid in the regular clotting of blood. A person with insufficient platelets is more likely to experience excessive bleeding and bruises. Excess platelets can induce excessive clotting or excessive bleeding if the platelets are not operating properly. The platelet count and size are determined by the CBC. 

Lab tests often ordered with a Complete Blood Count test: 

  • Reticulocytes
  • Iron and Total Iron Binding Capacity
  • Basic Metabolic Panel
  • Comprehensive Metabolic Panel
  • Lipid Panel
  • Vitamin B12 and Folate
  • Prothrombin with INR and Partial Thromboplastin Times
  • Sed Rate (ESR)
  • C-Reactive Protein
  • Epstein-Barr Virus
  • Von Willebrand Factor Antigen

Conditions where a Complete Blood Count test is recommended: 

  • Anemia
  • Aplastic Anemia
  • Iron Deficiency Anemia
  • Vitamin B12 and Folate Deficiency
  • Sickle Cell Anemia
  • Heart Disease
  • Thalassemia
  • Leukemia
  • Autoimmune Disorders
  • Cancer
  • Bleeding Disorders
  • Inflammation
  • Epstein-Barr Virus
  • Mononucleosis

Commonly Asked Questions: 

How does my health care provider use a Complete Blood Count test? 

The complete blood count (CBC) is a common, comprehensive screening test used to measure a person's overall health status.  

What do my Complete Blood Count results mean? 

A low Red Blood Cell Count, also known as anemia, could be due many different causes such as chronic bleeding, a bone marrow disorder, and nutritional deficiency just to name a few. A high Red Blood Cell Count, also known as polycythemia, could be due to several conditions including lung disease, dehydration, and smoking. Both Hemoglobin and Hematocrit tend to reflect Red Blood Cell Count results, so if your Red Blood Cell Count is low, your Hematocrit and Hemoglobin will likely also be low. Results should be discussed with your health care provider who can provide interpretation of your results and determine the appropriate next steps or lab tests to further investigate your health. 

What do my Differential results mean? 

A low White Blood Cell count or low WBC count, also known as leukopenia, could be due to a number of different disorders including autoimmune issues, severe infection, and lymphoma. A high White Blood Cell count, or high WBC count, also known as leukocytosis, can also be due to many different disorders including infection, leukemia, and inflammation. Abnormal levels in your White Blood Cell Count will be reflected in one or more of your different white blood cells. Knowing which white blood cell types are affected will help your healthcare provider narrow down the issue. Results should be discussed with your health care provider who can provide interpretation of your results and determine the appropriate next steps or lab tests to further investigate your health. 

What do my Platelet results mean? 

A low Platelet Count, also known as thrombocytopenia, could be due to a number of different disorders including autoimmune issues, viral infection, and leukemia. A high Platelet Count, also known as Thrombocytosis, can also be due to many different disorders including cancer, iron deficiency, and rheumatoid arthritis. Results should be discussed with your health care provider who can provide interpretation of your results and determine the appropriate next steps or lab tests to further investigate your health. 

NOTE: Only measurable biomarkers will be reported. Certain biomarkers do not appear in healthy individuals. 

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.

Reflex Parameters for Manual Slide Review
  Less than  Greater Than 
WBC  1.5 x 10^3  30.0 x 10^3 
Hemoglobin  7.0 g/dL  19.0 g/dL 
Hematocrit  None  75%
Platelet  100 x 10^3  800 x 10^3 
MCV  70 fL  115 fL 
MCH  22 pg  37 pg 
MCHC  29 g/dL  36.5 g/dL 
RBC  None  8.00 x 10^6 
RDW  None  21.5
Relative Neutrophil %  1% or ABNC <500  None 
Relative Lymphocyte %  1% 70%
Relative Monocyte %  None  25%
Eosinophil  None  35%
Basophil  None  3.50%
     
Platelet  <75 with no flags,
>100 and <130 with platelet clump flag present,
>1000 
Instrument Flags Variant lymphs, blasts,
immature neutrophils,  nRBC’s, abnormal platelets,
giant platelets, potential interference
     
The automated differential averages 6000+ cells. If none of the above parameters are met, the results are released without manual review.
CBC Reflex Pathway

Step 1 - The slide review is performed by qualified Laboratory staff and includes:

  • Confirmation of differential percentages
  • WBC and platelet estimates, when needed
  • Full review of RBC morphology
  • Comments for toxic changes, RBC inclusions, abnormal lymphs, and other
  • significant findings
  • If the differential percentages agree with the automated counts and no abnormal cells are seen, the automated differential is reported with appropriate comments

Step 2 - The slide review is performed by qualified Laboratory staff and includes: If any of the following are seen on the slide review, Laboratory staff will perform a manual differential:

  • Immature, abnormal, or toxic cells
  • nRBC’s
  • Disagreement with automated differential
  • Atypical/abnormal RBC morphology
  • Any RBC inclusions

Step 3 If any of the following are seen on the manual differential, a Pathologist will review the slide:

  • WBC<1,500 with abnormal cells noted
  • Blasts/immature cells, hairy cell lymphs, or megakaryocytes
  • New abnormal lymphocytes or monocytes
  • Variant or atypical lymphs >15%
  • Blood parasites
  • RBC morphology with 3+ spherocytes, RBC inclusions, suspect Hgb-C,
  • crystals, Pappenheimer bodies or bizarre morphology
  • nRBC’s

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.

Most Popular

Description: A Creatinine test is a blood test that is used to evaluate the health of your kidneys and diagnose and monitor the treatment of kidney disease.

Also Known As: Create Test, Blood Creatinine Test, Serum Creatinine Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is a Creatinine test ordered?

During a health assessment, creatinine may be requested as part of a complete or basic metabolic panel. It may be ordered if a person is seriously ill or if a doctor feels that their kidneys aren't functioning properly.

When someone has a known renal condition or a disease that may impact kidney function, a creatinine blood test, coupled with a BUN test and urine albumin, may be ordered at regular intervals. When a CT scan is planned, before to and during some medication therapy, and before and after dialysis, both BUN and creatinine may be requested to assess the effectiveness of treatments.

What does a Creatinine blood test check for?

Creatinine is a waste product created by muscles when a molecule called creatine is broken down. The kidneys eliminate creatinine from the body by filtering almost all of it from the blood and excreting it in the urine. The level of creatinine in the blood and/or urine is measured in this test.

Creatine is a component of the energy-producing cycle that allows muscles to contract. The body produces both creatine and creatinine at a roughly steady rate. Because the kidneys filter almost all creatinine from the blood and excrete it in the urine, blood levels are usually an excellent predictor of how well the kidneys are operating. The amount produced is determined by the person's size and muscular mass. As a result, men's creatinine levels will be slightly higher than women's and children's.

A blood creatinine test's results can be combined with those from other tests, such as a 24-hour urine creatinine test, to produce calculations that are used to assess kidney function.

Lab tests often ordered with a Creatinine test:

  • BUN (Blood Urea Nitrogen)
  • Creatinine Clearance
  • Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP)
  • Basic Metabolic Panel (BMP)
  • Urinalysis
  • Microalbumin and Creatinine Ratio
  • Cystatin C with eGFR
  • Beta-2 Microglobulin
  • Urine Protein

Conditions where a Creatinine test is recommended:

  • Kidney Disease
  • Diabetes
  • Proteinuria
  • Hypertension

How does my health care provider use a Creatinine test?

Kidney function is assessed with a creatinine blood test. It's usually requested in conjunction with a BUN test or as part of a basic or comprehensive metabolic panel, which consists of a series of tests designed to assess the operation of the body's primary organs. BMP or CMP tests are used to screen healthy persons during normal physical exams, as well as to help evaluate people who are acutely or chronically ill in the emergency room and/or hospital. Creatinine testing is sometimes done as part of a renal panel to assess kidney function.

Creatinine is a waste product created by muscles when a molecule called creatine is broken down. Because the kidneys filter almost all creatinine from the blood and discharge it into the urine, blood levels are usually an excellent predictor of how well the kidneys are operating.

The kidneys are a pair of bean-shaped organs placed on the right and left sides of the back at the bottom of the ribcage. Nephrons are a million microscopic blood filtering units found within them. Blood is continuously filtered by a small cluster of looping blood arteries called a glomerulus in each nephron. Water and tiny molecules flow through the glomerulus, but blood cells and bigger molecules are retained. Each glomerulus has a little tube attached to it that gathers the fluid and molecules that flow through it and then reabsorbs what the body can use. Urine is formed from the residual waste.

If the creatinine and BUN tests are abnormal, or if the patient has an underlying condition that affects the kidneys, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, creatinine and BUN tests may be used to monitor renal functionality and therapy effectiveness. Before some procedures, such as a CT scan, that may necessitate the use of medicines that can harm the kidneys, blood creatinine and BUN tests may be requested to assess renal function.

Creatinine test results can be utilized in calculations to determine renal function.

The estimated glomerular filtration rate, used as a screen to search for signs of early kidney damage, is calculated using blood creatinine readings, as well as age, weight, and sex.

What do my Creatinine test results mean?

Elevated creatinine levels in the blood indicate renal disease or other disorders affecting kidney function.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


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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.

Description: A Creatinine Random Urine test is a urine test that is used to evaluate the health of your kidneys and diagnose and monitor the treatment of kidney disease.

Also Known As: Urine Create Test, Urine Creatinine Test, Random Urine Creatinine Test

Collection Method: Urine Collection

Specimen Type: Urine

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is a Creatinine Random Urine test ordered?

During a health assessment, creatinine may be requested as part of a complete or basic metabolic panel. It may be ordered if a person is seriously ill or if a doctor feels that their kidneys aren't functioning properly.

When someone has a known renal condition or a disease that may impact kidney function, a creatinine blood test, coupled with a BUN test and urine albumin, may be ordered at regular intervals. When a CT scan is planned, before to and during some medication therapy, and before and after dialysis, both BUN and creatinine may be requested to assess the effectiveness of treatments.

What does a Creatinine Urine test check for?

Creatinine is a waste product created by muscles when a molecule called creatine is broken down. The kidneys eliminate creatinine from the body by filtering almost all of it from the blood and excreting it in the urine. The level of creatinine in the urine is measured in this test.

Creatine is a component of the energy-producing cycle that allows muscles to contract. The body produces both creatine and creatinine at a roughly steady rate. Because the kidneys filter almost all creatinine from the blood and excrete it in the urine, blood levels are usually an excellent predictor of how well the kidneys are operating. The amount produced is determined by the person's size and muscular mass. As a result, men's creatinine levels will be slightly higher than women's and children's.

A blood creatinine test's results can be combined with those from other tests, such as a 24-hour urine creatinine test, to produce calculations that are used to assess kidney function.

Lab tests often ordered with a Creatinine Random Urine test:

  • BUN (Blood Urea Nitrogen)
  • Creatinine
  • Creatinine Clearance
  • Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP)
  • Basic Metabolic Panel (BMP)
  • Urinalysis
  • Microalbumin and Creatinine Ratio
  • Cystatin C with eGFR
  • Beta-2 Microglobulin
  • Urine Protein

Conditions where a Creatinine Random Urine test is recommended:

  • Kidney Disease
  • Diabetes
  • Proteinuria
  • Hypertension

How does my health care provider use a Creatinine Random Urine test?

Kidney function is assessed with a creatinine blood test. It's usually requested in conjunction with a BUN test or as part of a basic or comprehensive metabolic panel, which consists of a series of tests designed to assess the operation of the body's primary organs. BMP or CMP tests are used to screen healthy persons during normal physical exams, as well as to help evaluate people who are acutely or chronically ill in the emergency room and/or hospital. Creatinine testing is sometimes done as part of a renal panel to assess kidney function.

Creatinine is a waste product created by muscles when a molecule called creatine is broken down. Because the kidneys filter almost all creatinine from the blood and discharge it into the urine, blood levels are usually an excellent predictor of how well the kidneys are operating.

The kidneys are a pair of bean-shaped organs placed on the right and left sides of the back at the bottom of the ribcage. Nephrons are a million microscopic blood filtering units found within them. Blood is continuously filtered by a small cluster of looping blood arteries called a glomerulus in each nephron. Water and tiny molecules flow through the glomerulus, but blood cells and bigger molecules are retained. Each glomerulus has a little tube attached to it that gathers the fluid and molecules that flow through it and then reabsorbs what the body can use. Urine is formed from the residual waste.

If the creatinine and BUN tests are abnormal, or if the patient has an underlying condition that affects the kidneys, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, creatinine and BUN tests may be used to monitor renal functionality and therapy effectiveness. Before some procedures, such as a CT scan, that may necessitate the use of medicines that can harm the kidneys, blood creatinine and BUN tests may be requested to assess renal function.

Creatinine test results can be utilized in calculations to determine renal function.

The estimated glomerular filtration rate, used as a screen to search for signs of early kidney damage, is calculated using blood creatinine readings, as well as age, weight, and sex.

What do my Creatinine Random Urine test results mean?

Elevated creatinine levels in the urine indicate renal disease or other disorders affecting kidney function.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


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Description: The Cystatin C blood test is used to determine kidney health by measuring levels of the protein Cystatin C.

Also Known As: CysX Test, CysC Test, Cystatin C Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is a Cystatin C test ordered?

Studies are confirming and defining the utility of cystatin C, particularly as an early, sensitive diagnostic for chronic kidney disease. It may be requested if a person has a known or suspected condition that affects or may influence kidney function and reduces the glomerular filtration rate, which is the rate at which the kidneys filter pollutants from the blood.

It may be ordered if a healthcare provider is dissatisfied with the results of previous tests, such as a creatinine or creatinine clearance, or wants to check for early renal dysfunction, especially in the elderly or unwell babies, and/or wants to track known impairment over time.

The study of cystatin C as a predictor of end-stage renal disease, heart failure, and death is still underway. Cystatin C, when paired with blood creatinine in an equation, has been found to increase the estimation of GFR in a variety of populations.

What does a Cystatin C blood test check for?

Cystatin C is a tiny protein generated by all cells with a nucleus and found in a number of body fluids, including the blood. It is constantly created, filtered from the blood by the kidneys, and broken down. This test evaluates kidney function by measuring the level of cystatin C in the blood.

The glomeruli, clusters of microscopic blood capillaries in the kidneys that allow water, dissolved substances, and wastes to flow past their walls while holding blood cells and bigger proteins, filter cystatin C out of the blood. Filtrate fluid is made up of what goes through the glomeruli's walls. The kidneys reabsorb cystatin C, glucose, and other chemicals from this fluid. The remainder of the fluid and wastes are transported to the bladder and expelled as urine. The cystatin C that has been reabsorbed is then broken down and not reintroduced to the bloodstream.

The glomerular filtration rate is the rate at which the fluid is filtered. The GFR falls as kidney function declines, whereas cystatin C and other renal function indicators such as creatinine and urea in the blood rise. These levels rise because the kidneys are unable to filter the blood correctly at a regular rate, resulting in their buildup in the blood. Improvements in kidney function, on the other hand, are predicted to lead to increases in GFR, which will result in lower levels of cystatin C, creatinine, and urea as the kidneys are better able to remove them from the blood.

Cystatin C concentrations in the blood are stable while the kidneys are working properly. The concentrations begin to grow as renal function deteriorates. This rise in cystatin C occurs when GFR declines and is generally apparent before kidney function declines significantly.

The cystatin C test has gained popularity as a technique of measuring kidney function since cystatin C levels fluctuate with changes in GFR. Creatinine, a result of muscle metabolism that is detected in the blood and urine, blood urea nitrogen, and eGFR are currently employed tests. Cystatin C, unlike creatinine, is unaffected by muscle mass, race, or diet, leading to the hypothesis that it could be a more trustworthy measure of renal function and so used to provide a more precise estimate of GFR.

While there is increasing evidence and literature to support the use of cystatin C, there is still some debate over when and how it should be administered. However, testing is becoming more widely available, and measures are being conducted to standardize cystatin C results calibration.

Lab tests often ordered with a Cystatin C test:

  • Creatinine
  • Creatinine Clearance
  • Urine Albumin
  • Lipid Panel
  • Lipoprotein Fractionation Ion Mobility
  • Blood Urea Nitrogen
  • Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP)

Conditions where a Cystatin C test is recommended:

  • Kidney Disease
  • Diabetes

How does my health care provider use a Cystatin C test?

In those who have known or suspected renal disease, a cystatin C test can be used instead of creatinine and creatinine clearance to screen for and monitor kidney dysfunction. It's especially beneficial in circumstances where creatinine measurements aren't accurate.

Creatinine measurements may not be trustworthy in people who have liver cirrhosis, are very fat, are malnourished, follow a vegetarian diet, have amputated limbs, or have reduced muscle mass. Because creatinine is dependent on muscle mass, assessing kidney function in people with abnormally high or low body mass may be inaccurate. Cystatin C is a more reliable indicator of renal function than creatinine since it is unaffected by body mass or diet.

When other test findings are normal or borderline, and an affected person has few, if any, symptoms, measuring cystatin C may be helpful in early diagnosis of kidney disease. In this scenario, the healthcare provider may wish to measure cystatin c to see if chronic renal disease is present.

Other applications of cystatin C are being investigated, such as measuring glomerular filtration rate using it alone or in combination with blood creatinine. An equation for eGFR that incorporates both creatinine and cystatin C was found to be more accurate than one that utilizes either of these alone in a recent study, and could be used to diagnose chronic kidney disease in persons with an eGFR near 60, the CKD threshold. It has been linked to a higher risk of mortality, cardiovascular disease, and heart failure in older persons, in addition to kidney impairment. Before being completely integrated into clinical practice, these equations are now being validated in various patient populations.

Finally, some study suggests that cystatin C returns to normal faster than creatinine, and that it could be used to assess renal function and severity of sickness in critically ill hospitalized patients when GFR is rapidly changing.

What do my Cystatin C test results mean?

A high amount of cystatin C in the blood indicates a lower glomerular filtration rate and, as a result, kidney failure.

Because cystatin C is made at a constant rate throughout the body and eliminated and broken down by the kidneys, it should stay at a constant level in the blood if the kidneys are healthy and the GFR is normal.

Increased levels of cystatin C have been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, heart failure, and mortality in recent investigations.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


Test not available in the following States: CA, MD, NY, PA and RI.



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!