A creatinine clearance test is used to help evaluate the rate and efficiency of kidney filtration. It is used to help detect and diagnose kidney dysfunction and/or the presence of decreased blood flow to the kidneys.
In people with known chronickidney disease or congestive heart failure (which decreases the rate of blood flow), the creatinine clearance test may be ordered to help monitor the progress of the disease and evaluate its severity. It may also be used to help determine if and when kidney dialysis may be necessary.
The creatinine clearance test may be ordered whenever a doctor wants to evaluate the filtration ability of the kidneys. It may be ordered as follow up when a person has, for example, increased blood creatinine concentrations on a routine CMP or protein in the urine on a routine urinalysis. It may be ordered when there is a suspected kidney disorder because of certain signs and symptoms.
Signs and symptoms that may be an indication of kidney problems include:
Swelling or puffiness, particularly around the eyes or in the face, wrists, abdomen, thighs, or ankles
Urine that is foamy, bloody, or coffee-colored
A decrease in the amount of urine
Problems urinating, such as a burning feeling or abnormal discharge during urination, or a change in the frequency of urination, especially at night
Mid-back pain (flank), below the ribs, near where the kidneys are located
High blood pressure
Blood and/or protein in the urine
It may also be ordered periodically when it is known that someone has a kidney disorder or decreased blood flow to the kidneys due to a condition such as congestive heart failure.
Any disease or condition that affects the glomeruli can decrease the kidneys' ability to clear creatinine and other wastes out of the blood. When this occurs, the blood creatinine level will be increased and the creatinine clearance will be decreased because not as much creatinine is able to be excreted in the urine. A number of diseases and conditions can affect kidney function. For more on these, see Kidney and Urinary Tract Function, Disorders, and Diseases.
This article was last reviewed on November 29, 2012. | This article was last modified on November 29, 2012.
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