If you are at risk of kidney failure your doctor will evaluate your overall health using routine blood, urine, and other tests. The following specific tests are commonly used to diagnose kidney disease or to monitor how well kidneys or dialysis treatments are working.
This is a general term that refers to how well dialysis is working. Adequacy measurements are given according to whether enough fluid and waste products are being removed from the blood. Peritoneal dialysis patients will need to save both their PD solution and urine for 24 hours. Their Dialysis center will tell them how to bring these samples in for testing.
Hemodialysis patients will have blood samples drawn at their clinic.
The results of the adequacy test determine the amount of dialysis needed. As a result of this test, patients may need a change in their dialysis prescription.
The peritoneal equilibrium test (PET) is used with patients who are being treated by peritoneal dialysis. The test measures how quickly waste products and fluid are removed from the blood during dialysis. It is important in determining the correct prescription for PD. The test takes 4 hours, and involves taking samples of dialysis fluid and a blood test.
Residual renal function
When you first start dialysis your own kidneys may still work, but not well enough to keep you healthy. The amount of residual renal function (RRF) varies from patient to patient.
The longer a patient keeps some RRF, the healthier they will be. Over time, it is likely the RRF will decline. In many kidney failure patients it eventually disappears. As the RRF declines, the dialysis prescription will be adjusted to compensate for the reduced function. Creatinine clearance testing is used to assess RRF.
May 1, 2006