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Forum Name: Miscellaneous Nephrology Topics

Question: Creatinine Level


 Anonymous - Fri Mar 07, 2003 10:28 pm

If creatinine level is high does it always mean you have kidney disease? what other reasons could there be?
 Anonymous - Fri Mar 07, 2003 10:30 pm

In general (90 plus percent of the time) elevated creatinine means "renal insufficiency" or the lack of adequate cleaning of the blood. Creatinine is a marker for kidney function and is usually right but in few instances its not. I can think of a few tricky or exotic situations when the creatinine can be elevated but renal function is normal. As a final comment I would like to add that few people look at the creatinine alone, most will look at both the BUN and the creatinine.

The tricky situations I can think of are as follows:

If you become "dehydrated" or don't drink enough water your kidneys may not be able to clear creatinine, function might still be normal.

If you eat a large steak your level of creatinine might go up because you are eating the animal's creatinine stored in the muscle. Your kidneys still work fine.

If you are a body builder and you have too much muscle, your creatinine might be high but your kidney function normal.

A drug might interfere with the measurement of creatinine and cause it to be falsely high (known as Jaffee Reaction)

In a crush injury muscle may be crushed and release creatinine, its difficult to tell what the kidney function is.

Some other exotic conditions.

The real answer is 99% of the time yes, if your creatinine is high your kidneys are not working well.

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