Renal function tests

In this phase, we will discuss renal function tests. We will sub into the various parameters that that can be used in checking the health of kidneys. We will simplify our terms to foster better understanding. Are you ready?  Let’s go!

The internal environment and organs are not visible with the naked eyes. Special features and tests are used to determine the functionality of the internal organs. Kidneys which perform special function of ultra filtration are checked of it’s functionality, using kidney function test parameters.

Kidney function;

These parameters include; creatinine, sodium ion, chlorine ion, bilirubin, etc.

Renal function tests (Kidney Biomarkers)

The markers of renal function test assess the normal functioning of kidneys. They may be radioactive or non-radioactive. They indicate the gromerular filtration rate, concentrating and diluting capacity of kidneys. If there is an increase or decrease in the valves of these markers, it indicates dysfunction of kidney. Markers of renal function; creatinine, urea, uric acid and electrolytes are for routine analysis, whereas several studies have confirmed and consolidated the youthfulness of markers such as cystatin C, beta trace proteins e.t.c.


It is a breakdown product of creatinine phosphate in muscle, and is usually produced at a fairly constant rate by the body depending on muscle mass. The normal creatinine clearance test valve h110-150ml/min in males and 100-130ml/min in females. The diagnosis of renal failure he suspected when serum creatinine is greater than the upper limit of the normal range.

Serum creatinine clearance

Creatinine values may alter as it’s generation may not be simply a product of muscle mass but influenced by muscle function, muscle composition, activity, diet and health status. Increased tubular secretion of creatinine in some patients with kidney dysfunction to the give false negative value. Elevated values are seen a muscular dystrophy paralysis, anaemia, leukaemia and hyperthyroidism while decreased values are seen with glomerulonephritis, congestive heart failure, acute tubular necrosis, shock, polycystic kidney disease and dehydration.


Urea is a major nitrogenous end product of protein and amino acid catabolism, produced by the liver and distributed throughout intracellular and extracellular fluid. It is useful in differential diagnosis of acute renal failure and pre-renal conditions were blood urea nitrogen-creatinine ratio is increased.

Urea clearance

Increased blood urea nitrogen is seen associated with kidney disease, blockage of the urinary tract by a kidney stone, congestive heart failure, dehydration, fever, shock and bleeding in the digestive tract. Low levels are seen in trauma, surgery, opioids, malnutrition and anabolic steroid use.


Electrolyte panel is frequently used to screen for an electrolyte or acid base imbalance and to monitor the effect of treatment of a known imbalance that is affecting bodily organ function.

The test for electrolytes includes the measurement of sodium, potassium, chloride and bicarbonate for both diagnosis and management of renal endocrine, acid-base, water balance and many other conditions.

Hyperkalemia is the most significant and life-threatening complication of renal failure.

Radioactive Markers

Radioisotope markers have been used to measure glomerular filtration rate. Some of them include 125 iodine (1)- iothalamate, 51CrEDTA ethylenediamine tetra acetic acid, 99mTc-DTPA and 99mTc mercapto acetyl triglycine. Renal 125iodine (1)- iothalamate clearance, is a simple accurate test after a single subcutaneous injection, to measure glomerular filtration rate.

These parameters of renal function tests are all used to access the health of kidneys.

A change in the concentration from normal, depicts a dysfunctioning of the kidney.


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