Creatinine is a waste product from the normal breakdown of muscle tissue. As creatinine is produced, it's filtered through the kidneys and excreted in urine. Doctors measure the blood creatinine level as a test of kidney function. The kidneys' ability to handle creatinine is called the creatinine clearance rate, which helps to estimate the glomerular filtration rate (GFR) -- the rate of blood flow through the kidneys.
function is decreased, substances such as
creatinine, and certain
electrolytes begin to build up in the blood. The
following tests measure levels of these substances to show how well your kidneys are working.
kidney biopsy may help find out the cause of chronic
kidney disease. After a kidney transplant, a doctor may use this test if he or she suspects the organ is being rejected by your body.
Early screening for chronic kidney disease
recommend screening tests for chronic kidney disease in high-risk groups, such
as people with
high blood pressure. Kidney disease runs in families, so close
family members may also want to have their kidney function tested. Being diagnosed with kidney
disease before it has progressed gives you the best chance to control the
To learn more about screening if you already have diabetes or high blood pressure, see: