Creatinine Test

What is the Creatinine Test?

Creatinine testing is a laboratory blood test. Creatinine along with blood urea are used to evaluate renal function. In some case, testing creatinine in the urine may also be useful. Creatinine is a nitrogenous end –product of metabolism produced on a daily basis and eliminated from the human body organism. The normal elimination  of creatinine from the body requires good function of kidneys, which act as a 'filter' removing all useless metabolism products (debris).

When is the Creatinine Test performed?

Creatinine testing is useful in many cases. For example:

  • as routine check-up in healthy individuals, as well as diagnostic testing in patients suffering from acute or chronic diseases.
  • In chronic diseases affecting kidneys, such as Diabetes. Creatinine can be used both for monitoring the progression of the disease and evaluating the efficacy of treatment.
  • In evaluating renal function before performing screening tests such as CT scan. Usually in these imaging tests there is need to administer drugs that may exacerbate some pre-existing renal failure.
  • In evaluating patients before the onset of therapies that may affect renal function (chemotherapy, anti-inflammatory drugs etc).
  • Given that Creatinine is produced and eliminated from the body at a relatively steady pace, detecting the amount of creatinine in the urine helps evaluate renal function or other urinary tract disorders.

Creatinine values  in combination with the patient’s age, weight and gender, are taken into account to calculate renal glomerular filtration rate (GFR), which is a diagnostic test to evaluate renal impairment.

What preparation is needed for the Creatinine Test?

No special preparation is needed. All that is needed to measure blood creatinine is simply obtain a  small blood sample. For urine Creatinine, you will have to collect a urine specimen in a urine collecting container.

How is the Creatinine Test performed?

Once samples collected, they are taken to the biochemical laboratory. Creatinine is measured in every sample with the use of special analyzers.

How are the results of Creatinine testing interpreted?

Normal blood Creatinine values are 0,7-1,3 mg/dl in men and 0,6-1,1 mg/dl in women (there may be small differences from lab to lab). Creatinine levels are normally affected by gender, muscle mass, nutrition, water intake and temperature.