Carbamide (Urea)

Carbamide, also known as urea, is the breakdown product of protein and amino acids. It forms in the liver and excreted in the urine through the kidneys.

What is the purpose of the test?

The purpose of the test is to assess the normal functioning of the kidneys and to monitor the effectiveness of the patient’s treatment with dialysis or other treatments.

Determination of urea levels is often done in conjunction with a creatinine test to assess kidney function.

In what cases is it recommended to perform the test?

Carbamide levels can be measured as part of metabolic tests, or routine tests, or to assess kidney function before starting the medication. It is often checked, if the patient is hospitalized for an acute illness or staying there for an extended period of time.

Your doctor may request a test along with a creatinine test:

  • To assess the effectiveness of dialysis
  • If the patient is suspected of having kidney function
  • To check kidney function before or during treatment
  • To monitor renal function in a patient with chronic disease (eg diabetes, heart failure)

What kind of sample is needed for the test?

A blood sample, taken from a vein, is needed for the test.

What could the result indicate?

Elevated carbamide levels indicate impaired kidney function. Renal damage or insufficiency can cause acute or chronic disease.

Increased protein degradation or increased protein intake can both cause elevated levels.

Low carbamide levels are relatively rare and usually not causing problems. Although it can occur in liver disease and malnutrition, the measurement of urea levels is not the determining factor in this diagnosis.

What to do after the test?

In all cases, please consult the specialist who ordered the test, as further test results may be required for an accurate diagnosis.

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