Serum creatinine is an important indicator to be used by both nephrologists and kidney disease patients to see how well the diseased kidneys are functioning. And it is often an important factor to be considered for guiding the beginning of dialysis.
So what is the creatinine levels to begin dialysis? Before answering the question, we need first know that creatinine along can not determine dialysis, there are many other factors that are need to be taken into account. But creatinine levels are one major determiner.
There is an absolute creatinine level and relative creatinine level to determine dialysis. The absolute creatinine level means dialysis should be received when creatinine raises to this level. Absolute creatinine level to begin dialysis is higher than 8 and clearance rate of creatinine is below 5.
But we need to mention that this may not applied to every individual patients. Different countries, areas and hospital as well as different underlying cause of kidney failure have different criteria to have the initial dialysis. Some patients may need to be put on dialysis when their creatinine is just above 5 because they can not bear the symptoms and pains. While some patients do not have dialysis even when their creatinine is much higher than 8 because they can have no obvious symptoms or their body can still tolerate the discomforts.
There is also a relative creatinine level to begin dialysis. That is creatinine higher than 6 and creatinine clearance rate below 15. Relative creatinine means that patients can begin or not begin dialysis when creatinine reaches this level. It depends on what the patients feel now such as symptoms, complications as well as response to prescribed drugs and treatments.
When creatinine is higher than 6 or even higher than 8, and if patients have developed one of the following illness conditions and if the illness condition is too severe to be controlled by medicines, renal dialysis should be offered for the sake of the patient’s safety. These illness conditions include pulmonary edema, heart failure, bleeding, pericarditis, neurological symptoms, hyperkalemia, serious vomiting, nausea, acidosis, azotemia, cachexia, etc.
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