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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Tests and Exams > BUN
      Category : Health Centers > Digestive System


Alternate Names : Blood Urea Nitrogen

Overview & Description | Preparation & Expectations | Results and Values

This test determines the level of urea nitrogen in the blood.

Urea nitrogen is produced when proteins are metabolized or broken down. Elevated levels of blood urea nitrogen (BUN) can be a sign of kidney disease, liver disease or dehydration.

Who is a candidate for the test?

This test is normally done to evaluate kidney function and aid in diagnosing kidney disease. It may also be performed to assess for dehydration.

How is the test performed?

In order to measure the BUN, or blood urea nitrogen, levels in the blood, a blood sample is taken from a vein on the forearm or hand. First, the skin over the vein is cleaned with an antiseptic. Next, a strong rubber tube, or "tourniquet", is wrapped around the upper arm to enlarge the veins in the lower arm by restricting blood flow through them. A fine needle is gently inserted into a vein, and the tourniquet is removed. Blood flows from the vein through the needle, and is collected in a syringe or vial for testing in the laboratory. After the needle is withdrawn; the puncture site is covered for a short time to prevent bleeding.


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BUN: Preparation & Expectations

Author: David T. Moran, MD
Reviewer: H. William Kelly, PharmD
Date Reviewed: 04/17/01

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