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Creatinine and urea are used as important measures of kidney function in people with kidney disease. They are breakdown products of your metabolism and they are excreted via the kidney.
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  • Creatinine and urea are metabolic breakdown products that are excreted by the kidneys, when they are still functioning

  • In people with kidney disease, these two parameters are measured regularly

  • In the case of kidney disease, both creatinine and urea are filtered out during the dialysis treatment

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[ Continues ] What are my kidney values?

Your so-called "kidney values" are the measured values, based on which you can typically see how well your kidneys still function. The term "kidney values" is mainly used to describe creatinine and urea. If you take it exactly, other values can also be changed depending on the kidney function.

What does creatinine do in my body?

Creatinine is a breakdown product from muscle metabolism and has been defined as a measure of kidney function. It is dependent on your muscle mass and you will not feel an increase in creatinine levels.

What is urea doing in my body?

Urea is a breakdown product of protein metabolism. It is usually excreted in the urine and - to a lesser extent - in the stool.

What happens when my kidneys stop working?

When your kidneys have reduced function, substances that are normally filtered out by the kidneys begin to accumulate in the body. These substances include urea and creatinine. As you may know, even with dialysis, you often have some residual kidney function, especially in the beginning.

What are the approximate target levels for creatinine and urea?

In women, the target range of creatinine is approximately between 0.50 - 0.90 mg/dl. In men, this is slightly higher, at 0.70 - 1.20 mg/dl.

For urea, depending on what units your lab report uses, the approximate targets are between 6 - 20 mg/dl or 2.1 - 8.9 mmol/l.

After kidney transplantation, creatinine values of 1.5 - 2 mg/dl are also acceptable. Here you should discuss your personal target range with your medical team.

How can creatinine and urea be affected in therapy?

Creatinine is filtered out during renal replacement therapy. Depending on physical activity, creatinine will always rise on dialysis-free days.

Urea is very well washed out during renal replacement therapy as well and actually serves as evidence of a good treatment. Therefore, this test is done regularly immediately before and after dialysis.

Medically reviewed by:
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Verificato dal punto di vista medico da:
Médicalement vérifié par :
Médicamente comprobado por:
Dr. Diego Parada Rodriguez
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