Creatinine is a blood chemical created from creatine phosphate produced during muscle exertion. It is the waste that remains after the muscular system has received the energy it needs to function. The blood then carries the byproduct to the kidneys, where the renal system filters out the creatinine. Chronic kidney disease or severe renal damage can make this final process less efficient, resulting in high creatinine levels, which can be dangerous.
Doctors and medical professionals measure serum creatinine levels to determine kidney function and health. The level of this compound demonstrates the capabilities of muscle metabolism. If the kidneys are not filtrating creatine out of the bloodstream, the doctor can test the glomerular filtration rate (GFR) and creatinine levels to determine the creatinine clearance (CrCL). Creatinine clearance is a diagnostic comparison to the glomerular filtration rate. Doctors use these levels to evaluate kidney health. High levels of waste products can cause uremia, a medical condition that can be fatal. Patients with chronic and severe renal disease generally receive dialysis to expel waste product from the blood when the kidneys cannot.
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