A health care provider may use several tests to diagnose CKD and determine if there is a treatable underlying cause. These include the following:
Kidney function tests:
The glomerular filtration rate (GFR) gives an approximate measure of the number of functioning nephrons. GFR is used to monitor the severity of kidney impairment. Actually measuring GFR is difficult and not practical in the care of most patients. Instead, GFR is usually estimated.
The most common way to estimate the GFR in adults is by measuring the creatinine level in the blood stream and then using this number to calculate an estimated GFR (eGFR) level. This eGFR level is often shown on routine blood chemistry lab reports that your doctor obtains; this gives an estimate of kidney function but actual kidney function can be higher or lower than this estimate.
Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR), it is the best way to check how well your kidneys are working to remove waste from your blood. A result of over 90 is good. 89-60 should be monitored. Below 60 may indicate kidney disease with varying severity.
A measure of kidney function can also be obtained by collecting a 24-hour urine sample and measuring the concentration of creatinine in the blood and urine. The blood urea nitrogen level is also commonly measured with blood tests and, like the blood creatinine concentration, generally goes up as kidney function declines.
The presence of albumin or protein in the urine (called albuminuria or proteinuria) is a marker of kidney disease. Even small amounts of albumin in the urine may be an early sign of CKD in some people, particularly those with diabetes and high blood pressure.
Other Tests may be requested by your doctor:
Imaging tests (such as computed tomography [CT] or ultrasound) may be recommended to determine if there are any obstructions (blockages) of the urinary tract, kidney stones, or other abnormalities, such as many large cysts seen in a genetic disease called polycystic kidney disease.
Sample of kidney tissue:
Your doctor may recommend a kidney biopsy which is a small piece of kidney tissue removed and examined under a microscope. It is done with local anesthesia using a small needle. The biopsy helps to identify abnormalities in kidney tissue that may be the cause of kidney diseases.
How do I know if I am at risk of developing kidney disease?
Anyone can have a kidney disease, but some people have higher risk than others because they have conditions called risk factors. These are:
Disclaimer: The UCLA Health System cannot guarantee the accuracy of such information. The information is provided without warranty or guarantee of any kind. Please speak to your Physician before making any changes.