Serum Creatinine Overview


Serum Creatinine Test Results

Serum creatinine levels can vary according to a person's size, muscle mass and gender. Women have lower serum creatinine levels than men because they have less muscle mass. Serum creatinine test results can also vary depending on the laboratory performing the test and which lab method was used.

Typical serum creatinine ranges are 0.5 to 1.0 milligrams per deciliter for women and 0.7 to 1.2 mg/dl for men. A serum creatinine level of 2.0 mg/dl may indicate normal kidney function in a male bodybuilder, but 0.7 mg/dl can indicate significant renal disease in a frail old woman. The ability to look at changing levels over time is more informative for patients and doctors than is a single measurement at one point in time. For example, a serum creatinine level of 1 mg/dl might be considered normal -- unless it recently increased from 0.6, which would make it very abnormal.

The following conditions may cause serum creatinine levels to be higher than normal:

  • Kidneys that aren't functioning normally
  • A block in the flow of urine (such as with an enlarged prostate gland or a kidney stone)
  • A kidney infection
  • Heart failure
  • Dehydration
  • Decreased blood flow to the kidneys
  • High blood pressure during pregnancy

The following conditions may cause serum creatinine levels to be lower than normal:

  • A muscle disease, such as myasthenia gravis or muscular dystrophy
  • A diet with too little protein

The links below will give you more information about kidney disease and heart disease.

Related HowStuffWorks Articles

More Great Links

Sources

  • Coca SG, Peixoto AJ, Garg AX, et al. The prognostic importance of a small acute decrement in kidney function in hospitalized patients: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Kidney Dis. 2007;50:712-720.
  • Damman K, Navis G, Voors AA, et al. Worsening renal function and prognosis in heart failure: systematic review and meta-analysis. J Card Fail. 2007;13:599-608.De Santo NG, Cirillo M, Perna A, et al. The kidney in heart failure. Semin Nephrol. 2005;25:404-407.
  • Diskin CJ. Creatinine and glomerular filtration rate: evolution of an accommodation. Ann Clin Biochem. 2007;44:16-19.
  • Wencker D. Acute cardio-renal syndrome: progression from congestive heart failure to congestive kidney failure. Curr Heart Fail Rep. 2007;4:134-138.
  • Heywood JT, Fonarow GC, Costanzo MR, et al. High prevalence of renal dysfunction and its impact on outcome in 118,465 patients hospitalized with acute decompensated heart failure: a report from the ADHERE database. J Card Fail. 2007;13:422-430.
  • Hillege HL, Girbes AR, de Kam PJ, et al. Renal function, neurohormonal activation, and survival in patients with chronic heart failure. Circulation. 2000;102:203-210.
  • Obialo CI. Cardiorenal consideration as a risk factor for heart failure. Am J Cardiol. 2007;99:21D-24D.
  • Chittineni H, Miyawaki N, Gulipelli S. et al. Risk for acute renal failure in patients hospitalized for decompensated congestive heart failure. Am J Nephrol. 2007;27:55-62.
  • Schrier RW. Role of diminished renal function in cardiovascular mortality: marker or pathogenetic factor? J Am Coll Cardiol. 2006;47:1-8.

More to Explore