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How do you interpret kidney function test results?

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Quick Answer

Doctors use standardized ranges to interpret the glomerular filtration rate and the urine albumin test results that indicate kidney health, according to the National Kidney Disease Education Program. A normal glomerular filtration rate is 60 mls/min/1.73m2 or higher. Patients with kidney disease have a glomerular filtration rate lower than 60 mls/min/1.73m2, while a result lower than 15 mls/min/1.73m2 indicates possible kidney failure. A score of 30 or more on a urine albumin test also indicates possible kidney disease.

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Full Answer

The glomerular filtration rate test is a blood test that measures how quickly the blood passes through the glomeruli, explains MedlinePlus. The glomeruli act as filters for the body's blood and remove waste from the bloodstream.

A glomerular filtration rate of over 90 mls/min/1.73m2 is normal unless a doctor detects another symptom of chronic kidney disease, notes The Renal Association. A glomerular filtration rate of 60 to 90 mls/min/1.73m2 indicates possible chronic kidney disease, but a doctor must find other symptoms of chronic kidney disease to make that diagnosis. Below 60 mls/min/1.73m2 indicates a definite problem with kidney function.

A urine albumin test measures the amount of a specific blood protein that the kidneys allow into the body's urine, according to the National Kidney Disease Education Program. A healthy kidney prevents most of this protein transfer. Sometimes a doctor takes a patient's blood pressure as part of a kidney function test, notes the National Kidney Disease Education Program. Maintaining healthy blood pressure helps protect good kidney function.

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