Health Stream | Lab Decoded
By K Patel, MD, MPH
Image source: National Institute of Health
Kidneys are bean shaped organs located in the back part of lower 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.
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)
Cr – 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?
Chronic conditions like Diabetes, Hypertension, Heart disease, Liver disease
Blockage of arteries supplying kidneys
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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