Common Lab test to be familiar with

Labs for Dialysis Patients

Hematocrit (Hct): 30%-36%: percentage of blood that makes up red blood cells.

Hemoglobin (Hgb): 10-12 g/dL: protein in red blood cells that carry oxygen to tissues and carbon dioxide from your tissues. Low Hgb can cause you to look pale, feel dizzy, lack energy, trouble thinking and shortness of breath.

Iron (measured by Transferrin Saturation): 20%- 50% saturation: Iron is required for red blood cell and hemoglobin formation.

Albumin: at least 4g/dL: Albumin is made in your liver and is related to your nutrition. This helps to keep your body tissues fluid level normal. If your albumin level is too high or low you may have swelling in the arms and legs. In order to make albumin you need protein, so a high protein diet is recommended. Albumin is also lost in the dialysis process, so high protein diet is also needed for that reason

Phosphorous: 3.5-5.5 mg/dL: This mineral is found in dairy and meat products. If phosphorous is too high, it can take calcium out of the bones and cause them to become weak. High phosphorous also decreases the rate of bone growth.

Phosphorous binder medication is often prescribed to be taken with food to help the body get rid of the phosphorous through the stool.

Calcium: 8.6-10mg/dL: Calcium is needed for bone health and for electrical conduction of nerves and muscles. It is important that your calcium and phosphorous levels are in balance.

Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN): 10-20mg/dL: When protein is broken down nitrogen is produced as a waste product. BUN level after dialysis should decrease by 60% and between treatments BUN will slowly rise.

Creatinine (CR): 1-2mg/dL: Waste product from using your muscles and cannot be excreted with renal failure.

Potassium (K): 3.5-5.1 meq/L: High or low potassium levels can cause irregular heart beats and serious heat rhythm problems may occur. High potassium levels can be an emergency.

Parathyroid Hormone (PTH): 150-300pg/mL: This hormone is important in controlling how much calcium is in the body.

Bicarbonate: 20-30 mmol/L: This tests the amount of carbon dioxide in your blood. Bicarbonate helps to keep your electrolytes like salt, potassium, and chlorine in balance. Too much bicarbonate can lead to swelling in your arms and legs.

Big image


Blood Tests for Dialysis. (2002). Retrieved November 27, 2015, from https://patienteducation.osumc.edu/Documents/bloodtst.pdf