Creatinine is a chemical waste product of creatine. Creatine is a chemical the body makes to supply energy, mainly to muscles.
By comparing the creatinine level in urine with the creatinine level in blood, this test estimates the glomerular filtration rate (GFR). GFR is a measure of how well the kidneys are working, especially the kidneys’ filtering units. These filtering units are called glomeruli.
Creatinine is removed, or cleared, from the body entirely by the kidneys. If kidney function is abnormal, creatinine level increases in the blood because less creatinine is released through the urine.
Clearance is often measured as milliliters per minute (mL/min) or milliliters per second (mL/s). Normal values are:
- Male: 97 to 137 mL/min (1.65 to 2.33 mL/s).
- Female: 88 to 128 mL/min (14.96 to 2.18 mL/s).
Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Some labs use different measurements or test different samples. Talk to your doctor to know about the meaning of your specific test results.
What Abnormal Results Mean
Abnormal results (lower than normal creatinine clearance) may indicate:
- Kidney problems, such as damage to the tubule cells
- Kidney failure
- Too little blood flow to the kidneys
- Damage to the filtering units of the kidneys
- Loss of body fluids (dehydration)
- Bladder outlet obstruction
- Heart failure