Creatine is a compound, produced primarily by the liver. It is an energy source that is utilized for muscle contracts. Creatinine is a waste product of creatine, which is produced by the muscles and removed from the body by the kidneys.
As almost all creatinine is filtered from the blood by the kidneys, its blood levels are usually a good indicator of kidney functions. Its level depends on the muscle mass, therefore its levels are slightly higher in men than in women.
What is the purpose of the test?
The test helps to assess the normal function of the kidneys and to monitor the treatment of kidney disease. Usually, the test will be requested by the doctor along with a carbamide test if the patient has a kidney disorder.
The test measures the levels of creatinine in the blood and/or urine.
In what cases is it recommended to perform the test?
The test is usually performed as part of a metabolism test, or if the doctor suspects renal failure, or in case of an acute or chronic disease that may cause renal dysfunction.
The test is often used to check kidney function besides medication or to control the effectiveness of certain medicines.
What kind of sample is needed for the test?
A blood sample, taken from a vein, and/or a 24-hour urine sample are needed for the test.
What can the result indicate?
Increased creatinine levels
If your blood creatinine level is elevated, it may indicate the presence of the following conditions / diseases:
- Bacterial infection of the kidneys
- Decreased blood supply to the kidneys, which can be caused by diabetes, heart problems, or dehydration
- Cell death in the kidneys (mostly caused by drugs or toxins)
- Damage or inflammation of the blood vessels in the kidneys
- Urinary tract occlusion, kidney stones
- Prostate diseases
Low creatinine levels
Decreased creatinine levels can be caused by a decrease in muscle mass or may occur mildly during pregnancy.
What to do after the test?
In all cases, please consult the specialist who ordered the test, as the results of further tests may be required for an accurate diagnosis.