Lab

Renal Function

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Renal Function, Kidney Function

  • Physiology
  • Renal Function
  1. Background: Core Renal Functions
    1. Sodium and Water Homeostasis
    2. Acid-Base Homeostasis
    3. Blood Pressure Physiology (including Renin-Angiotensin System)
    4. Metabolic Waste Product Excretion
      1. Urea (from amino acid metabolism)
      2. Creatinine (from muscle breakdown)
      3. Uric Acid (nucleic acid breakdown)
      4. Conjugated Bilirubin as Urobilinogen (from Hemoglobin breakdown)
    5. Synthetic function (e.g. Erythropoietin, Vitamin D, Glucose)
  2. Renal Filtration (Glomerulus)
    1. Glomerular Membrane (3 layers)
      1. Capillary endothelium (outer layer)
      2. Glomerular Basement Membrane
        1. Main barrier to leakage of proteins and other large molecules
        2. Openings within basement membrane are much smaller than those in capillary endothelium or podocytes
        3. Openings within the basement membrane are negatively charged
          1. Repels moderate to large proteins which are typically negatively charged
      3. Podocytes (epithelial foot processes, inner layer adjacent to bowman's space)
    2. Mesangial Cells
      1. Modulates glomerular filtration (when contracted, reduces glomerular surface area and filtration)
      2. Contract in response to Norepinephrine, Epinephrine, Angiotensin II (decreases filtration)
      3. Relax in response to atrial natriuretic factor (increases filtration)
  3. Renal Reabsorption (Renal Tubule)
    1. Non-charged molecules (non-polar) are more easily reabsorbed
    2. Sodium reabsorption (active transport) occurs primarily in the proximal tubule
    3. Carrier molecules facilitate reabsorption of various molecules (e.g. amino acids)
    4. Other molecule reabsorption (Active co-transport with Sodium)
      1. Water
      2. Glucose, Lactic Acid and Ketones
      3. Water soluble Vitamins
      4. Amino Acids (see below)
  4. Renal Secretion (Peritubular Capillary)
    1. Peritubular capillary secretion of molecules (e.g. ammonia, Hydrogen Ion, Potassium) into the renal tubules
  5. Renal Synthesis
    1. Erythropoetin (stimulates erythrocyte production)
    2. Renin
    3. Vitamin D
    4. Prostaglandins (e.g. PGE2)
    5. Glucose
    6. Bicarbonate
    7. Ammonia
  • Labs
  • Chemistry Measures of Renal Function
  • Labs
  • Other changes in the absence of Renal Function
  1. Serum Potassium increases 0.3-0.5 mEq/L/day
  2. Serum Bicarbonate decreases 1-2 meq/L/day
  3. Serum Calcium decreases
  4. Serum Phosphorus increases
  5. Serum Magnesium increases
  6. Complete Blood Count changes in chronic insufficiency
    1. Anemia
    2. Platelet Dysfunction
  • References
  1. Goldberg (2014) Clinical Physiology, Medmaster, p. 21-23
  2. Guyton and Hall (2006) Medical Physiology, Elsevier, p. 307-47