What are the diagnostic tests to identify kidney diseases

Kidneys are the vital organs of the body which helps in maintaining the overall health of our body. This article lists out the various important diagnostic tests employed to determine the health and functioning of our kidneys.


Kidneys are the most important organs of our body which helps in separating impurities from our blood and also maintaining fluid concentrations of our body. If the kidneys fail to function properly, the homeostatic (maintaining the same steady state) of the body will be disturbed. Usually one cannot realize the defects that which arise in the kidneys at the beginning. If this condition is prolonged, it may lead to major problems. Kidney problems are curable at the earlier stages easily but not so easy to cure them at the later stage. So various diagnostic tests are very useful for detecting the defects at the early stage to give proper treatment.

The time to go for kidney tests

  1. If the symptoms of the patient reflects kidney problems

  2. A patient with diabetic symptoms

  3. Patient with uncontrollable B.P. variations

  4. A patient family background with kidney diseases

  5. A patient consuming various drugs and pain killer medicines for a long duration

  6. Patients who are suffering from urethral passage problem

Various diagnostic tests for kidneys

A patient who is facing problems with kidney functioning has to undergo the following various diagnostic tests to confirm the actual problem with the kidneys.
  1. Urine Test

    To diagnose kidney problem urine test is very important. If pus is found in the urine, it is an indication for infection to urethral passage. If proteins and RBC are present in the urine, it is an indication for 'Glomerular nephritis' disease in which the kidneys show swelling. Presence of diabetes with proteins in urine is the first indication of kidney failure.

  2. Macrolt Memoria Test

    Doctors use this diagnostic test on the diabetic patients whose kidneys not functioning normally. This test will help the doctors to follow the course of treatment for the patient.

  3. Various urine tests to diagnose kidney problems

    • Urine test is used to find out TB bacteria which infect urethral passage.

    • Doctors diagnose protein quantity in urine to give treatment to kidney inflammation

    • Urine culture test to find out the bacteria which infected urethral passage and its treatment.

    So urine test may confirm the various diseases our kidney's facing but it is not the ultimate test to say our kidneys are without any problem.

  4. Blood Tests

    Lack of proper quantity of haemoglobin in our blood indicates anaemic condition. The anemic condition is one of the reasons for kidney failure. The patient may get the anemic condition in so many other diseases also. So it is not a confirmatory test to say it is kidney failure.

    Through blood tests, doctors will analyze the urea and creatinine concentration in blood. These are poisonous metabolic wastes present in blood and will be eliminated with the help of kidneys. A healthy person may include roughly 0.6 to 1.4 mg. the quantity of urea in a liter of blood. Similarly 20 to 40 mg. of urea in a liter of blood. But if these concentrations increase beyond that level it is an indication of kidney failure.

  5. Radiology Test

    Kidney Sonography test will confirm kidney shape, its anatomy, the position of the kidney, the position with the urethral passage, kidney stones, gaunt etc. In chronic condition, kidneys become excessively shrunken. X-ray test of the abdomen will help to identify the presence of kidney stones.

    Intravenous Pyelography (IVP) test helps the doctors to know the functioning strength of kidneys, the structure of the urethral passage. This information will help to know about kidney stones, obstacles in urethral passage, gaunt and guide them to cure the problems.

    In this test, a radiocontrast material containing iodine will be injected into the blood. After some time X-rays will be taken at the abdominal region. This radiocontrast material can be seen by moving various excretory passages. This will help the doctors to identify the problem with kidneys or urethral passages. This test is of no use if kidneys are damaged already. This radiocontrast may even harm a patient who is already with damaged kidneys.

    Kidney Doppler, Mix rating, Sonogram, Radionuclear study, Renal Angiography, CT Scan, Antegrade, and Retrograde Pyelography tests are done to know about the functioning ability of kidneys.

  6. Confirmative tests to identify kidney problems

    Kidney biopsy, Test of urethral passage with Telescope are some of the confirmative tests to identify kidney diseases.

    Kidney Biopsy test is meant to find out the root cause of various kidney problems. In this test, a small piece of the kidney will be collected by using a needle. Pathological tests will be conducted to identify kidney diseases. This test is needed if a patient is losing protein along with urine or when the failure of kidney occurs or if all treatment methods failed. Kidney Biopsy is a vital test to confirm the real reason for the kidney problem. This test will guide the doctor about how to treat kidney disease. This test also will give a clue that how much duration it took for the damage of the kidney.

Steps to follow to maintain good health of kidneys

  • Exercise regularly to keep yourself fit and active. It reduces you from hypertension problem and in turn, it reduces the risk of chronic kidney damages.

  • Regular monitoring of blood sugar level will help to protect your kidneys and keep them healthy. Most of the diabetic patients face the problem of kidney damage.

  • Control your body weight which helps to protect you from diabetes, hypertension, heart attacks and ultimately from chronic kidney failure problems.

  • Do not smoke as smoking will reduce the blood flow to kidneys. The efficiency of kidneys will be reduced if the circulation of blood to kidneys become slow.

  • Limit the daily intake of salt to keep away hypertension problems which in turn will protect you from kidney damages.

  • Daily intake of 1.5 to 2 liters of water or fluids will help you to clean and remove the poisonous wastes filtered out from the kidneys. This keeps the kidneys functioning efficiently.

  • One should not use drugs or medicines without a doctor's prescription. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or pain killers should not be used on a long term basis which damage kidneys.

  • Follow healthy diet rules and principles to keep your kidneys healthy.


Author: Natarajan04 Mar 2019 Member Level: Gold   Points : 3

A very useful article at a time when many Indians are suffering from Diabetes and hypertension both of which affect the kidney function. Coupled with this is the overuse or abuse of over the counter medications (painkillers), growth enhancers which also adversely affects the kidney function. Thursday, 14th March is the World kidney day this year and the theme is 'kidney health for everyone everywhere'.

Along with the above list of indications,it would be worthwhile for people to have kidney function tests before undergoing any surgical procedure and history or ongoing renal stone related symptoms.

I could not understand 'Macrolt Memoria test', perhaps the author can explain this. In patients who have kidney disease, doctors often perform the creatinine clearance test. This is basically the rate at which the kidneys clear the blood of waste product (creatinine).

Prior to doing an intravenous pyelography or contrast CT scan, it is very important that the creatinine levels are checked because, an abnormally high creatinine value would be a contra-indication of the use of contrast.

A plain CT-KUB is a valuable tool used to assess patients with symptomatic renal stones wherein it helps in diagnosis and plan treatment for the stone based on it's size and location. A DMSA (radionuclide) scan is performed when doctors need to find out the individual functional status of the right and left kidneys.

I would like to reiterate the fact that while exercises are good for the health of kidneys, one also needs to be aware of good hydration, avoiding high protein supplements (without proper oral fluid intake), steroids and painkillers while doing strenuous exercises at the gym.

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