Creatinine is a breakdown product of creatine from muscle. Creatine is involved in contracting muscles. The body cannot use creatinine, so it is transferred from the muscles to the blood and then filtered by the kidneys. In the kidneys, creatinine is filtered into the renal tubules and secreted out of the body in urine. Approximately the same amount of creatinine is produced every day, and its amount is directly linked to the body’s muscle mass. Muscular people’s creatinine levels can be above the normal level even if their kidneys are healthy.
When should creatinine levels be measured?
Creatinine values are measured in connection with a diagnosed kidney disease when monitoring the functioning of the kidneys. The test is also used in other cases for assessing and monitoring kidney function. A creatinine test can be done in connection with the following symptoms, for example:
- Decreased urine production
- Swelling of the face and limbs
- Shortness of breath
- Loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting
- High blood pressure
- Shivering and fatigue
- Itching, dryness, and paleness of the skin
What does a creatinine test measure?
Creatine levels are tested to assess kidney function. The level of creatinine in the blood increases when function is disturbed for a temporary reason or due to a disease of the kidneys.
How to interpret the creatinine test result?
Normally, the result is:
- Women: 50–90 µmol/l
- Men: 60–100 µmol/l
Besides sex, age also has a significant impact on the reference range.
A more detailed view of kidney function can be obtained by examining the filtration rate of the glomeruli (Pt-GFRe).
The reference values of this examination have changed 11.10.2021. You will find your own result's reference values from My LOUNA in touch with the graph. Read more about defining reference values.
Please contact your physician or other healthcare professional if you suspect an illness or need help interpreting the results.
What can cause elevated levels in the creatinine?
Creatinine levels increase when kidney function weakens. Creatinine levels increase in the following situations:
- The filtration rate of the glomeruli decreases
- The patient has a high muscle mass
- Physical strain
- Eating meat within 7 hours before sampling can increase the level by approximately 10%
- Dehydration of the body
What can cause decreased levels in the creatinine?
Decreased creatinine values are found if the subject is malnourished. Low levels can also be seen in connection with muscular dystrophy or low muscle mass.
The most typical additional creatinine tests:
- Filtration rate of the glomeruli (6354 Pt-GFRe)
SYNLAB test list: Creatinine (2143 S-Krea) https://www.yml.fi/tuotekuvaus_show.php?tuotenro=235
SYNLAB test list: Creatinine, Arto Katajamäki https://www.yml.fi/tuotekuvaus_show.php?tuotenro=235
Terveyskirjasto health library: Kreatiniini (P-Krea) https://www.terveyskirjasto.fi/terveyskirjasto/tk.koti?p_artikkeli=snk03121&p_hakusana=kreatiniini
Fasting is not required
This examination does not require fasting