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Creatinine Clearance Blood and Urine Test

Last updated April 16, 2018

Approved by: Krish Tangella MD, MBA, FCAP

The Creatinine Clearance Blood and Urine Test is a blood and urine test that compares the amount of creatinine in the bloodstream to that in the urine.

What are the other Names for this Test? (Equivalent Terms)

  • CCT Test
  • CRCL Test
  • Creatinine Clearance Test

What is Creatinine Clearance Blood and Urine Test? (Background Information)

  • Creatinine is formed when a high-energy compound called creatine is expended by muscles to fuel their contraction. It is the end-product of creatine metabolism
  • After creatine is used up, the creatinine that is produced, travels through blood and exits through the kidneys
  • The rate of creatinine formation depends on an individual’s muscle mass. Aside from this, creatinine formation rate is fairly constant during normal conditions. This makes it a useful indicator for muscle and kidney disorders
  • Creatinine levels usually decrease with age because of age-dependent decreases in muscle mass
  • Damage to muscles resulting from injury or degenerative diseases causes the release of creatinine in blood. This leads to a spike in the normally constant blood creatinine levels
  • The Creatinine Clearance Blood and Urine Test is a blood and urine test that compares the amount of creatinine in the bloodstream to that in the urine. It is used to assess the filtration ability of the kidneys. It is based on an estimate of body surface

The amount of blood cleared of creatinine in 1 minute is termed “clearance”. The formula used is:

Creatinine clearance rate = (Urine creatinine) x (Urine volume) / (Serum creatinine)

What are the Clinical Indications for performing the Creatinine Clearance Blood and Urine Test?

Following are the clinical indications for performing a Creatinine Clearance Blood and Urine Test:

  • Determining the extent of kidney damage, especially prior to administering nephrotoxic drugs
  • Monitoring the progress of kidney disease and the effectiveness of treatment
  • Muscle weakening
  • Fatigue
  • Recent trauma
  • Frequent urination
  • Increased thirst
  • Blurry vision
  • Rapid weight loss
  • Tingling and numbing in the extremities
  • Obesity
  • History of cardiovascular disease
  • History of degenerative muscle disease

How is the Specimen Collected for Creatinine Clearance Blood and Urine Test?

Following is the specimen collection process for Creatinine Clearance Blood and Urine Test:

Sample required: Blood and urine

Process of obtaining blood sample in adults:

  • A band is wrapped around the arm, 3-4 inches above the collection site (superficial vein that lies within the elbow pit)
  • The site is cleaned with 70% alcohol in an outward spiral, away from the zone of needle insertion
  • The needle cap is removed and is held in line with the vein, pulling the skin tight
  • With a small and quick thrust, the vein is penetrated using the needle
  • The required amount of blood sample is collected by pulling the plunger of the syringe out slowly
  • The wrap band is removed, gauze is placed on the collection site, and the needle is removed
  • The blood is immediately transferred into the blood container, which has the appropriate preservative/clot activator/anti-coagulant
  • The syringe and the needle are disposed into the appropriate “sharp container” for safe and hygienic disposal

Process of obtaining urine sample: Urination into a sterile container, over a 24-hour period.

Preparation required: No special preparation is needed prior to the test.

What is the Significance of the Creatinine Clearance Blood and Urine Test Result?

The significance of the Creatinine Clearance Blood and Urine Test result is explained:

Increased creatinine clearance rate may indicate:

  • Acromegaly
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Dehydration
  • Gigantism
  • Infections
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Poliomyelitis
  • Kidney disease, including acute and chronic kidney failure
  • Rhabdomyolysis
  • Shock
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Nephritis
  • Gout
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Subacute bacterial endocarditis
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus
  • Uremia
  • Urinary obstruction

Decreased blood creatinine levels may indicate:

  • Inadequate protein intake
  • Severe liver disease
  • Anemia
  • Muscular dystrophy

The laboratory test results are NOT to be interpreted as results of a "stand-alone" test. The test results have to be interpreted after correlating with suitable clinical findings and additional supplemental tests/information. Your healthcare providers will explain the meaning of your tests results, based on the overall clinical scenario.

Additional and Relevant Useful Information:

  • The Creatinine Clearance Test is a more sensitive assessment of kidney health than the creatinine test alone
  • Certain factors influence the results of this test. These include hydration status, age, pregnancy, body size and composition, and diet

Certain medications that you may be currently taking may influence the outcome of the test. Hence, it is important to inform your healthcare provider of the complete list of medications (including any herbal supplements) you are currently taking. This will help the healthcare provider interpret your test results more accurately and avoid unnecessary chances of a misdiagnosis.

Please visit our Laboratory Procedures Center for more physician-approved health information:


References and Information Sources used for the Article:

Reviewed and Approved by a member of the DoveMed Editorial Board
First uploaded: June 25, 2015
Last updated: April 16, 2018