How to interpret Kidney function in your labs?

Kidneys are bean shaped organs sitting in the abdomen. Human body has two kidneys. Kidneys are important to remove the waste products and maintain water- electrolyte balance. They also play vital role in maintaining blood pressure, producing red blood cells and releasing vitamin D in our body.


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Kidney function test is part of the routine metabolic lab panels.


What is Kidney function test?


Kidney function test consists of BUN (Blood Urea Nitrogen), Cr (Creatinine) & eGFR (estimated Glomerular filtration rate)


Normal Kidney function test range: (may vary among various labs)


  • Creatinine – 0.72 to 1.25 mg/dL

  • BUN – 6 to 20 mg/dL

  • eGFR - > 60 mL/min/1.73M2


What are the common causes of abnormal Kidney function or Kidney failure?

  • Dehydration

  • Chronic conditions like Diabetes, Hypertension, Heart disease, Liver disease

  • Blockage of arteries supplying kidneys

  • Kidney infection

  • Kidney stones

  • Medications like Ibuprofen, naproxen (NSAIDs), certain antibiotics

  • Toxins like alcohol, cocaine, heavy metals, cannabis (SPICE, K2)

  • Autoimmune conditions like lupus, nephritis, scleroderma

  • Cancers like kidney cancer, multiple myeloma and other surrounding organ cancers


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