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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Chronic Kidney Disease. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Creatinine

Creatinine is a byproduct produced from the metabolism of creatine in muscle. It's plasma concentration is relatively constant and it is freely filtered at the glomerulus.
Its concentration is inverse to the GFR, i.e., higher concentrations of plasma creatinine are present with lower GFR.
Creatinine is an imperfect biomarker; it exhibits great interindividual variability and is affected by numerous factors beyond kidney function, to include:
  • Muscle mass (more muscle, higher creatinine)
  • Diet (e.g., vegan or a diet high in animal meat)
  • Non-renal disease (e.g., sickle cell)
  • Medications (may alter secretion and/or resorption)
  • Some extrarenal clearance
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons