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Detail Description

Renal Function Panel Test

Any other names for this test?

Renal panel test, Kidney panel test, Kidney function panel test

What is a renal function panel test?

A renal function panel test helps to determine the conditions of your kidneys. This panel test is a blood test that identifies, diagnoses, and observes kidney disorders. A renal panel test monitors the current levels of substances, such as electrolytes, proteins, minerals, and glucose in your blood. High or low levels of these substances may indicate kidney problems. 
Your kidneys consist of organs similar to bean-shaped. They are present below the rib cages on both sides of the back. Healthy kidneys can filter or purify about 170 liters of blood a day. The function of kidneys is to:
  • Eliminate excess water from the blood through urine.
  • Release waste material, such as urea, uric acid, or toxins.
  • Balance the essential chemical substances, such as sodium, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, bicarbonate, chloride, and magnesium.
  • Help to control the pH levels.

When you experience kidney problems, this may lead to the deposition of waste material in your blood. High body fluid levels may damage your body or lead to severe conditions.

What is the purpose of this test?

A renal function panel test is a series of tests that measures different substances to see the current health of the kidney. These tests often include

Glucose - It is a significant source of energy for your body. Glucose is a type of blood sugar. Its high level may lead to diabetes.
Phosphorus - This mineral helps to provide energy, muscle, bone, and nerve function. It also maintains the acid-base level in your body.
Calcium - An essential mineral for the development of bones and teeth. A high value of calcium deposits in your bones, but your blood needs it too. Calcium helps regulate the nerves, heart, and muscles. It also uses blood clotting. 

Electrolyte tests
An electrolyte panel test helps to measure electrically charged minerals in your body, including
Sodium - Sodium maintains the body's function, specifically for nerves and muscles. It comes from the food you eat. Your kidneys are responsible for maintaining the sodium levels in your body.
Potassium - It transfers signals from the nerve to the muscles. It plays a vital role in the metabolism of cells. It also comes from the food you eat.
Chloride - It balances the acid-base level in the body. A chloride regulates the amount of fluid throughout the body.
Bicarbonate - It controls the pH level of your body and shows the amount of carbon dioxide in your blood.

Protein tests
Albumin - This is a protein in your blood made by your liver. It carries enzymes, nutrients, and other substances in your bloodstream. It also helps to resist fluid from leaking from the blood vessels.
Total protein - This test measures other proteins (globulins) besides albumin.

Creatinine - It is a waste product produced by creatinine. It develops during the regular activity of the muscles. A creatinine test indicates the function of the kidney.
Blood urea nitrogen - This component specifies the quantities of urea nitrogen in the blood. Blood urea nitrogen is a waste material your kidneys remove from your blood.

A renal function panel test may also include
Anion gap - Anion gap provides a value originating from the electrolyte panel test. It helps to differentiate between measured and unmeasured charged particles (ions or electrolytes) in the liquid part of your blood.
Estimated glomerular filtration rate - This test determines an estimation of the actual glomerular filtration rate. An eGFR test describes the number of blood filters by glomeruli in the kidneys per minute) that comes from creatinine in your blood.
BUN to Creatinine ratio - A BUN/Creatinine ratio consists of BUN and creatinine tests. A healthcare provider divides the BUN value with the creatinine to see your kidney conditions.

When do I need a renal function panel test?

A renal function panel test is a routine test for those with a high risk for kidney problems. Your healthcare provider may recommend this test if you have symptoms of kidney disease.

Symptoms of kidney disease
  • Weakness
  • Muscles contraction or cramps
  • Frequency or reduction in urine
  • Difficulty in passing the urine
  • Swelling in eyes or legs
  • Bloody or foamy urine
  • Dry skin
  • Weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Sleep disorder
  • Difficulty thinking properly
  • Breath difficulty
  • Accumulation of water in the body

Your provider may recommend a renal panel test to observe your kidney conditions if you ever had an abnormal renal function panel test. You may need this test to check your response to the therapy if you have a treatment for kidney disease.

What is the method for this test?

Your provider will ask for a blood sample for a renal function panel test. The step-by-step procedure for this test is listed below
  • Sit in front of your provider and remove your part of the cloth from one arm.
  • Your provider will insert a small needle into the vein in your arm.
  • A small amount of blood will collect in a test tube.
  • Your blood sample will keep at the laboratory for examination.
  • Daily activities can start after the test.
  • This test generally takes five minutes.

You can go to the laboratory after booking an online order for this test.

How do I need to prepare for this test?

A renal function panel test does not require specific preparation. Your provider may ask if you use medicines, vitamins, and supplements. You may need to fast if your provider asks for additional blood tests. You may provide specific instructions by seeing your medical history.

What are the risks of this test?

A renal function panel test does not have high risks. You may experience slight pain when your provider injects a needle into your veins. Some risks may include 
  • Low bleeding
  • Bruising
  • Infection
  • lightheaded feeling

What do the renal panel test results mean?

The test results may vary on age, gender, medical history, and other factors. The renal function test results may differ slightly among laboratories. It is because each lab may use different methods for examination. 
High amounts of phosphorus, urea, creatinine, glucose and anion gap may show kidney disease. Low blood calcium and albumin levels and an imbalance of electrolyte levels indicate severe kidney problems.

The recommended range for adults for different substances is:
  • Glucose - 4.1-5.6 mmol/L (millimoles per liter)
  • Phosphorus - 0.81-1.45 mmol/L
  • Calcium - 2.15-2.57 mmol/L
  • Potassium - 3.5-5.1 mmol/L
  • Sodium - 136-145 mmol/L
  • Chloride - 98-107 mmol/L
  • Bicarbonate - 23-29 mmol/L
  • Albumin - 35-52 g/L
  • Creatinine (Male) - 55-96 µmol/L
  • Creatinine (Female) - 40-66 µmol/L
  • BUN - 2.1-7.1 mmol/L

You can see the other measurements if the provider requests for in the renal function panel test. You can review your test results with a professional healthcare provider here

What additional tests may I need to conduct along with the renal panel test?

Your provider may also order additional tests, such as kidney imaging or a kidney biopsy, if you may have a chance of developing kidney disease by blood and urine test. A healthcare provider may also ask for individual tests if they see abnormal levels in any of the substances.

These tests may include
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