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GFR, estimated glomerular filtration rate, EGFR
This is either a blood test or a urine test that looks for changes in how your kidneys function. Your kidneys have tiny filters called glomeruli. The filters help remove waste from your blood. Your glomerular filtration rate is the rate at which your blood is filtered each minute. A glomerular filtration rate can be estimated with great accuracy, based on your weight and age. This is called the estimated glomerular filtration rate, or EGFR.
You might have this test to see if your kidneys are working the way they should, especially if you have diabetes or high blood pressure. GFR can detect kidney disease in its earliest stages, when it is most treatable. GFR can also help figure out if you have a condition that causes decreased blood flow to the kidneys, such as congestive heart failure, shock, or severe fluid loss (dehydration).
Your healthcare provider is likely to order other tests that measure kidney function and waste products, such as:
BUN, or blood urea nitrogen
A lab test result may be affected by many things, including the method the laboratory uses to do the test. If your test results are different from the normal value, you may not have a problem. To learn what the results mean for you, talk with your healthcare provider.
The normal range for GFR depends on your age, weight, and muscle mass. Here are typical ranges:
A GFR above 60 is considered normal.
A GFR below 60 may mean you have kidney disease.
A GFR of 15 or below means your kidneys could be failing.
If your test results indicate you have early kidney disease, your healthcare provider may want to take steps to treat it aggressively.
The test requires a blood sample, which is drawn through a needle from a vein in your arm. You may also need to collect a 24-hour urine sample.
Taking a blood sample with a needle carries risks that include bleeding, infection, bruising, or feeling dizzy. When the needle pricks your arm, you may feel a slight stinging sensation or pain. Afterward, the site may be slightly sore. A urine test poses no known risks.
Your test results may be affected if you:
Exercised vigorously before testing
Are severely malnourished, are underweight, or have muscle-wasting disease
Are severely overweight
Are a bodybuilder
Have a neuromuscular disorder
Are taking certain medicines, including chemotherapies and kidney medicines
Eat a lot of meat
Eat a vegetarian or low-meat diet
Take creatine supplements
Have other serious health conditions
An incomplete urine specimen also can give false results.
No special diet is required. Check with your healthcare provider about taking any medicines on testing day. And be sure your healthcare provider knows about all medicines, herbs, vitamins, and supplements you are taking. This includes medicines that don't need a prescription and any illicit drugs you may use.
If you need to collect a 24-hour urine sample, be sure you understand how to do it.
Bayhealth is Southern Delaware’s healthcare leader with hospitals in Dover and in Milford. Bayhealth provides a wide range of medical services, including cardiovascular, cancer, orthopaedics and rehabilitation, pediatrics, respiratory care, sleep care, surgical weight loss and women’s services.