The results of a kidney disease test can help your doctor pinpoint the condition and make a diagnosis. A variety of tests are available, from simple blood tests performed on a fingertip to comprehensive evaluations involving an entire panel of tests. A few examples include diastolic and systolic pressure measurements, which measure pressure in the arteries when the heart contracts, and a complete blood count (CBC), which counts red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets in the blood. A low CBC level can indicate that the kidneys are not functioning properly.
Another diagnostic test for kidney disease is a biochemistry profile, which involves collecting a sample of blood to analyze the chemistry of the serum. The serum contains many substances, including enzymes, proteins, lipids, and glucose, as well as metabolic waste products. The serum contains levels of urea nitrogen and creatinine, two waste products that are generated during the metabolism of proteins. These substances are normally cleared from the bloodstream by the kidneys.
Another test is the urine sediment evaluation, which involves spinning a sample of urine in a centrifuge. This sediment is then transferred to a slide and examined under a microscope. It may contain bacteria, red blood cells, and crystalline materials. If the level of sediment is elevated, a patient may have an infection.
In addition to the urine test, a doctor may perform a blood pressure test. This can be done with a traditional cuff or with a machine. A high blood pressure is one of the main causes of kidney failure, and if your blood pressure is abnormal, your doctor will order additional tests. A urine protein test is also another diagnostic tool for kidney disease.
Another test for kidney disease is an albumin urine test. Albumin is a type of protein that is produced by the body and is a sign of kidney problems. The higher the level, the worse the disease is. This test is used to calculate the estimated glomerular filtration rate (GFR) and can help your doctor decide on the best course of treatment.
A urine dipstick test can confirm the diagnosis of kidney disease and indicate the need for further testing. When the urine dipstick test reveals excessive protein levels, your veterinarian will send a sample to a veterinary referral laboratory for further evaluation. The results can give you a diagnosis of the severity of kidney disease, and the appropriate course of treatment.
Other tests include the estimated glomerular filtration rate, or GFR, which measures how effective the kidneys are in filtering blood. The glomeruli of the kidneys have tiny filters that clean the blood. An estimated GFR reflects how much blood is filtered every minute. In addition, total protein counts all the blood proteins, including albumin and multiple types of globulins.
After the new eGFR equation was published, the eGFR test was changed to eliminate a race-based coefficient. The former race-based eGFR calculation led people to believe that their kidneys were functioning better than they actually were. This may have caused them to make wrong choices regarding their diets and medications, which posed serious medical risks. As a result, the National Kidney Foundation and the American Society of Nephrology decided to change the equation.