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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Tests and Exams > Creatinine: Results and Values


Alternate Names : Serum Creatinine, Serum Creatinine Level, Creatinine Level in the Blood

Creatinine | Preparation & Expectations | Results and Values

What do the test results mean?

The normal level of creatinine varies slightly based on age, body size, and sex. The level also changes during pregnancy. However, the healthy range is usually between 0.5 and 1.4 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL).

A decreased value for this test is rarely a concern. It can occur with decreased muscle mass, such as in elderly people. Conditions such as muscular dystrophy, which is an inherited defect in muscles, can cause a low value for this test. Pregnancy may also cause a low value.

A high value for this test can occur for many reasons. Some of these reasons are described in the sections that follow.

Decreased blood flow to the kidneys

The blood flow to the kidneys can be decreased by the following conditions or events.

  • severe dehydration
  • massive blood loss
  • congestive heart failure
  • blockage in the kidney arteries, called renal artery stenosis
  • Kidney damage or failure

    The kidneys can be damaged by a number of conditions, including:

  • high blood pressure
  • diabetes
  • an inherited condition called polycystic kidney disease
  • a high blood calcium level, called hypercalcemia
  • a cancer called multiple myeloma
  • autoimmune diseases, which are conditions in which a person's immune system attacks his or her own body
  • Other conditions can also cause an elevated value for this test:

  • blockage of urine flow, which commonly occurs with enlargement of the prostate, also called benign prostatic hyperplasia
  • taking certain medicines, such as captopril or non-steroidal anti- inflammatory drugs, which are called NSAIDs
  • The meaning of the results should be discussed with the doctor.

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    Creatinine: Preparation & Expectations


    Author: Adam Brochert, MD
    Reviewer: Kathleen A. MacNaughton, RN, BSN
    Date Reviewed: 10/15/02

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