Serum Creatinine is useful in the evaluation of kidney function and in monitoring renal dialysis. A serum creatinine result within the reference range does not rule out renal function impairment: serum creatinine is not sensitive to early renal damage since it varies with age, gender and ethnic background. The impact of these variables can be reduced by an estimation of the glomerular filtration rate using an equation that includes serum creatinine, age and gender.
Testing specifically to assess the health of the kidney.
Urea Nitrogen (BUN)
Urea Nitrogen (BUN) is the principle waste product of protein catabolism. BUN is most commonly measured in the diagnosis and treatment of certain renal and metabolic diseases. Increased BUN concentration may result from increased production of urea due to (1) diet or excessive destruction of cellular proteins as occurs in massive infection and fevers, (2) reduced renal perfusion resulting from dehydration or heart failure, (3) nearly all types of kidney disease, and (4) mechanical obstruction to urine excretion such as is caused by stones, tumors, infection, or stricture. Decreased urea levels are less frequent and occur primarily in advanced liver disease and in overhydration.
Calculation Ratio of BUN to Creatinine.
Sodium measurements are useful in the diagnosis and treatment of aldosteronism, diabetes insipidus, adrenal hypertension, Addison’s Disease, dehydration, inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion, or other diseases involving electrolyte imbalance.
Potassium measurements are useful in monitoring electrolyte balance in the diagnosis and treatment of disease conditions characterized by low or high blood potassium levels. Potassium is elevated in adrenal cortical insufficiency, acute renal failure and in some cases of diabetic acidosis. Potassium is decreased in diuretic administration and renal tubular acidosis.
Serum Chloride is the major extracellular anion and counter-balances the major cation, sodium, maintaining electrical neutrality of the body fluids. Two thirds of the total anion concentration in extracellular fluids is chloride and it is significantly involved in maintaining proper hydration and osmotic pressure. Movement of chloride ions across the red blood cell membrane is essential for the transport of biocarbonate ions in response to changing concentrations of carbon dioxide. Chloride measurements are used in the diagnosis and treatment of electrolyte and metabolic disorders such as cystic fibrosis and diabetic acidosis.
Carbon Dioxide Measurement (CO2)
CO2 Carbon Dioxide Measurements are used in the diagnosis and treatment of numerous potentially serious disorders associated with changes in body acid-base balance.
ION Gap Calculation
Calculation value calculated from the results of multiple individual medical lab tests.
Serum Calcium is involved in the regulation of neuromuscular and enzyme activity, bone metabolism and blood coagulation. Calcium blood levels are controlled by a complex interaction of parathyroid hormone, vitamin D, calcitonin and adrenal cortical steroids. Calcium measurements are useful in the diagnosis of parathyroid disease, some bone disorders and chronic renal disease. A low level of calcium may result in tetany.
Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR)
Estimated glomerular filtration rate (GFR)– the best measure of kidney function.
Serum Phosphorus (Phosphate) levels alone are of limited diagnostic value and should be correlated with serum calcium levels. An increased phosphorus with decreased calcium suggests either hypoparathyroidism or renal disease. A decreased phosphorus and an increased calcium suggests hyperparathyroidism or sarcoidosis. When both calcium and phosphorus are decreased diagnostic considerations include malabsorption, vitamin D deficiency and renal tubular acidosis. Increased phosphorus and normal or increased calcium suggests Milk-alkali syndrome or hypervitaminosis D.
Serum Uric Acid Measurement
Serum Uric Acid measurements are useful in the diagnosis and treatment of numerous renal and metabolic disorders, including renal failure, gout, leukemia, psoriasis, starvation or other wasting conditions, and in patients receiving cytotoxic drugs.