Certain tests such as blood tests, urine tests, imaging tests, and a biopsy can be done to determine Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD). It can be diagnosed with a test called Kidney Function Test (KFT), a group of tests that help determine the health of the kidneys by evaluating various parameters, such as proteins, electrolytes, minerals, and blood sugar.
According to the National Institute of Kidney Diseases, blood tests measure the levels of a waste product called creatinine in the blood. Your kidneys remove creatinine from your blood. Providers use the amount of creatinine in your blood to estimate your GFR (Glomerular Filtration Rate). As kidney disease gets worse, the level of creatinine goes up. For adult men, 0.74 to 1.35 mg/dL (65.4 to 119.3 micromoles/L) is normal, and for adult women, 0.59 to 1.04 mg/dL (52.2 to 91.9 micromoles/L) is normal.
The blood tests also check how well your kidneys filter your blood through GFR. Research also states that a GFR of 60 or more is in the normal range. Any value less than 60 may indicate towards kidney disease. In the cases of kidney failure, GFR goes down to 15 or less. Below this level, people would require dialysis or kidney transplant.
A urine test is done to check for albumin, a protein that can pass into the urine when the kidneys are damaged. Albumin is a protein found in your blood. A healthy kidney doesn’t let albumin pass into the urine. Having albumin in the urine is called albuminuria. It is checked in the Dipstick test and UACR. In the Dipstick test, a strip of chemically treated paper called a dipstick is put in the urine sample. The dipstick changes color if albumin is present in the urine.
The urine albumin-to-creatinine ratio (UACR) test measures and compares the amount of albumin with the amount of creatinine in your urine sample. UACR is used to estimate how much albumin would pass into your urine over 24 hours. A urine albumin result of 30 mg/g or less is normal, and more than 30 mg/g may be due to kidney disease.
Some other tests which are done to assess the level of damage to the kidneys include ultrasound, CT scan and MRI to look at the anatomy of the kidney and see if there are any blockages. Another way to determine damage to the kidneys is a kidney biopsy, in which a small sample of kidney tissue is removed. The cells are examined under a microscope for the signs of damage.
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