Why it's done

A serum creatinine test — which measures the level of creatinine in your blood — can indicate whether your kidneys are working properly. How often you need creatinine tests depends on any underlying conditions and your risk of kidney damage. For example:

  • If you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, your doctor may recommend a creatinine test at least once a year.
  • If you have kidney disease, your doctor may recommend creatinine tests at regular intervals to monitor your condition.
  • If you have an illness that may affect your kidneys — such as high blood pressure or diabetes — or you're taking medication that may affect your kidneys, your doctor may recommend creatinine tests.
Jan. 27, 2016
  1. Creatinine. American Association for Clinical Chemistry. https://labtestsonline.org/understanding/analytes/creatinine/tab/glance/. Accessed Dec. 2, 2015.
  2. Inker LA, et al. Assessment of kidney function. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Dec. 2, 2015.
  3. Kidney disease of diabetes. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. http://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-topics/kidney-disease/kidney-disease-of-diabetes/Pages/facts.aspx. Accessed Dec. 2, 2015.
  4. Rohren CH (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Dec. 4, 2015.