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Common Kidney Function Tests - Why They Are Done?

Written and reviewed by
Dr. Akanksha 88% (195 ratings)
MBBS, MD - Internal Medicine
Nephrologist, Noida  •  21 years experience
Common Kidney Function Tests - Why They Are Done?

Are you experiencing symptoms such as blood in your urine, high blood pressure, an increased urge for urination, difficulty in urination or painful urination? These clearly indicate some problems or disorders with your kidneys. A kidney function test is a diagnostic test, which is carried out for detection of kidney problems. After proper diagnosis, treatment methods are considered.

Types of kidney function test
There are several types of kidney function test, which can be suggested by a doctor as these help in the estimation of the glomerular filtration rate or GFR. The GFR determines how fast the kidneys are eliminating waste materials.

  1. Urinalysis: This test is carried out for detection of the amount of protein and blood in urine. Protein may be found in the urine for several reasons, but all of them are not related to kidney diseases. This test is repeated after some weeks to notice the differences in result.
  2. Serum creatinine test: This blood test is used for examining whether creatinine is developing in the blood. The kidneys filter creatinine from the blood completely, and high creatinine levels indicate some kidney problem.
  3. Blood urea nitrogen or BUN test: This test checks the amount of waste products along with the amount of nitrogen in the blood. Nitrogen is obtained after the breakdown of proteins. Several common medicines, including some antibiotics, may increase the blood urea nitrogen levels.
  4. Estimated glomerular filtration rate: This test is carried out for estimating how well the kidney is functioning in the filtration of waste. The rate is determined by examining factors such as test results, age, gender, height and weight.

How are the tests obtained?

  • A kidney function test requires a fresh urine sample and a blood test.
  • A 24-hour urine sample helps in the determination of the amount of creatinine expelled by the body in a single day. Except morning, you should urinate in a special container given by your health provider. You must keep the container capped and refrigerated during the process of collection. You should label the containers properly.
  • Blood samples are also required for undergoing BUN and serum creatinine tests. An elastic band will be tied to your upper arm, and a hollow needle gets inserted into your skin into the vein. The collected blood is sent to the laboratory for testing and analysis.

Kidney Ultrasound :  Is a noninvasive diagnostic exam that produces images, which are used to assess the size, shape, and location of the kidneys. Ultrasound may also be used to assess blood flow to the kidneys. This ultrasound should be done every year to check the health status of the kidney during the full body check up. Ultrasound can detect cysts, tumors, abscesses, obstructions, fluid collection, and infection within or around the kidneys. Stones of the kidney and ureters may be detected by ultrasound.

In case you see any symptom, which indicates some kind of a kidney problem, you must consult a doctor immediately, who will prescribe you the necessary kidney function test required to be carried out. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

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