Renal (Kidney) Panel
The kidney panel is a standard test routinely run during annual exams. It reports ten variables of kidney health. The kidneys are a pair of organs lying on either side of the vertebral column underneath the last couple of ribs. Chronic kidney disease (CKD) affects 8-16% of the population worldwide. As people age, their risk for CKD increases. If the kidneys become too damaged, a person needs to start dialysis.
Electrolytes, Acid-Base (pH) Balance and Minerals
- Carbon Dioxide
- Phosphate (as Phosphorus)
- Potassium (K+)
- Sodium (Na+)
- Blood urea nitrogen (BUN)
- BUN/Creatinine Ratio (calculated)
- Estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR)
Fasting: Fast for 12 hours prior to test.
Water: Drink plenty of water to stay well hydrated.
Medications: Take all medications as prescribed.
1-2 business days
Result turnaround times are estimates and not guaranteed. Due to factors outside of our control, such as weather, holidays, confirmation/repeat testing or equipment maintenance, our lab may require additional time to complete tests.
The kidney panel, also called a renal panel, tests how well your kidneys are working. Your kidneys play many vital roles in your health. They filter waste from the blood and produce urine. They make hormones that signal the bone marrow to create more blood and regulate blood pressure. They activate vitamin D, which is required for optimal calcium absorption by the small intestines, for maintaining bone density and for proper immune function. They help regulate acid-base balance. Testing and optimizing kidney function is important for overall health.
Albumin is a protein made by the liver that plays major roles in the body. It keeps fluid from leaking out of blood vessels, transports hormones, nutrients and drugs. Albumin is measured to help diagnose liver or kidney disease and to assess nutritional status.
BUN/Creatinine Ratio. Urea is produced by the liver and filtered out of the blood by the kidneys in the form of blood urea nitrogen, BUN. Measuring BUN provides one estimate of kidney function. The amount of urea excreted varies with the dietary intake of protein.
Creatinine is found in high concentrations in muscle. When muscle breaks down in releases creatinine, which is filtered from the blood by the kidneys. Creatinine, unlike BUN, is not affected by gender or the amount of protein you eat. It is one indicator of kidney health. The BUN/Creatinine Ratio is used to diagnose acute or chronic kidney disease. Since BUN and creatinine are both filtered in the kidneys, the two together provide an overall kidney function.
Estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR). Blood is filtered in the kidneys by a group of blood vessels called glomeruli. The GFR measure how effectively the kidneys are filtering your blood.
Glucose. The kidneys filter glucose out of the blood. Elevations in glucose can indicate pre-diabetes or diabetes and place a significant strain on the kidneys.
Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is a waste product eliminated by the body through breathing and by the kidneys. Carbon dioxide is a measure of the amount of carbon dioxide gas in your blood and assists in evaluating how acidic your blood is and your electrolytes. Electrolytes help balance the levels of acids and bases in your body. Most carbon dioxide in your body is in the form of bicarbonate, which is a type of electrolyte. Electrolyte imbalances can occur in kidney diseases, lung diseases, and high blood pressure.
Calcium. Low calcium is common in people with kidney failure. Other diseases that have been associated with abnormal blood calcium such as thyroid disease, parathyroid disorder, malabsorption, cancer, or malnutrition.
Chloride is an electrolyte that can give an indication of acid-base balance and hydration status. It works with other electrolytes such as CO2, potassium and sodium.
Phosphate (as Phosphorus) is a mineral that combines with substances to form organic and inorganic phosphate compounds. Phosphate plays an important role as a buffer in the body, maintaining its acid base balance.
Potassium (K+) is a major mineral inside cells. Potassium is excreted by the kidneys.
Sodium (Na+) is the major mineral in the spaces surrounding cells, called the extracellular space. Sodium plays a major role in how much water flows into and out of cells. Serum sodium levels are the result of a balance between the dietary intake of sodium and its elimination by the kidneys.
Chen TK, Knicely DH, Grams ME. Chronic Kidney Disease Diagnosis and Management: A Review. JAMA. 2019;322(13):1294-1304.