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by Shannon DW

Diagnosis of Chronic Kidney Disease

The doctor will ask about symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done.
These tests may be done:

Blood Tests

Blood tests measure the amount of wastes, proteins, or other products in the blood. They are done to find out how well kidneys are working. Tests are done to look at:
  • Blood urea nitrogen (BUN)—Urea nitrogen is a waste product that is filtered by the kidneys. This test measures the amount that is found in the blood.
  • Creatinine —This is a waste product from the muscles that is filtered by the kidneys.
  • Complete blood count (CBC)—This test measures the number of blood products to see if they are in a normal range.
  • Other products in the blood, such as minerals, hormones, or proteins.

Estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate GFR)

This is an estimate of how well the kidneys are filtering wastes. It is based on a person's:
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Body size
  • Blood creatinine level

Urine Tests

In people with CKD, the kidneys may not be able to remove all the waste from protein. This can cause it to stay in the urine. One protein called albumin is found in the urine of people with CKD. This CKD is caused by high blood pressure or diabetes.
Tests may be:
  • 24 hour urine protein—the amount of protein made over 24 hours
  • Dipstick for urine protein—the amount of protein in a single sample taken first thing in the morning
  • Microalbumin screening in people who have type 1 or type 2 diabetes
  • 24 hour urine albumin—the amount of this protein made over 24 hours
  • Dipstick for urine albumin—the amount of this protein in a single sample
  • Protein to creatinine ratio—amount of protein to the amount of creatinine in a sample
  • Albumin to creatinine ratio—amount of albumin to creatinine in a sample
  • Protein to creatinine ratio—amount of protein to the amount of creatinine in a sample
  • Albumin to creatinine ratio—amount of albumin to creatinine in a sample

Imaging Tests

An ultrasound or CT scan may be done to look for problems in the urinary system may be causing CKD, such as a kidney stone or tumor.

Kidney Biopsy

A kidney biopsy may be done to remove a small piece of kidney tissue for testing. It is done to check for kidney damage. It may also point to a cause.

References

Chronic kidney disease. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/genitourinary-disorders/chronic-kidney-disease/chronic-kidney-disease. Accessed April 6, 2022.
Chronic kidney disease. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/kidney-disease/chronic-kidney-disease-ckd. Accessed April 6, 2022.
Chronic kidney disease (CKD). Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: https://familydoctor.org/condition/chronic-kidney-disease-ckd. Accessed April 6, 2022.
Overview of chronic kidney disease (CKD) in adults. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/overview-of-chronic-kidney-disease-ckd-in-adults. Accessed April 6, 2022.

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