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Creatinine Levels

Posts: 18
Joined: Jul 2012

Okay... here is another question...

When it comes to labwork, what should I watch for with the creatinine levels.  I had blood work done in December and my creatinine level was 1.06.  A few days ago I had more labwork done and the creatinine level was 1.11.  The labwork inidicated that this was high, but I don't know if its something to be concerned about.

I don't know if it matters... but the egfr levels showed low at 57.  From the reading I've been doing, the creatinine levels and the gfr levels are connected.

Details on me:  radical nephrectomy in late August.  Removed right kidney.  Cancer contained in kidney with clear margins.  I have been referred to a nephrologist to monitor my kidney function.  Return visit to urologist in December indicated that labwork and chest xray were good.  Don't have to return to urologist until June.  Will return to nephrologist in April.  Just wondering if the 1.11 creatinine level indicates anything.

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions.

Have a great day!



Texas_wedge's picture
Posts: 2799
Joined: Nov 2011

Nothing to worry about there.  Your estimated glomerular filtration rate is fine and will quite likey improve to over 60 - into the "normal" range for anyone with 2 kidneys!  

Creatinine clearance rate is built into computation of eGFR and your c. level is OK - as creatinine goes up, eGFR goes down  The following link will give you some useful info.




Posts: 18
Joined: Jul 2012

Thanks for the information.

For the most part, up until last June, I took my health for granted.

I hardly ever got sick and the cancer took me by surprise when it showed up.

I tease my husband that I've been to the doctor more in the last seven months than in my entire life.

Anyway, its not the cancer that I worry about anymore... its living with one kidney.  I don't know when to be concerned and when not to worry.  It is so good to have this site to come to when I have a question.  I have always been a bottom-line person.  In other words... just tell me when I should be concerned.  Otherwise, I don't ususally give it a second thought.  All the numbers on the labwork are greek to me and when it said creatinine levels high and egfr low, I wasn't sure if I should be concerned.  

I wasn't sure if the number 1.11 means (one point one one) or (one point eleven).  Plus I wasn't sure if that number meant anything at all.  With that in mind... what is a number that I should worry about.  If I know that number... then I won't worry unless I get there.

Once again... thanks so much for answering my questions.  I am so relieved that my cancer is gone.  I just need to get past the getting old part!  :o)

garym's picture
Posts: 1651
Joined: Nov 2009

As it was explained to me, a creatine level of 1.0 is considered normal for a person with two kidneys and anything 1.5 or lower for those of us with one kidney is normal.  You are doing very well at 1.1.  After staying about 1.4 for the past three years mine suddenly spiked to 1.8 which the doc said is not a concern as far as living normally, but we're trying to figure out what caused it.  The likely culprit is medication for A-Fib that I recently had to start taking for my heart so we're gradually reducing dosage and monitoring results to find a good balance.

Posts: 59
Joined: Jun 2010

As the others have said your numbers are fine, and you're still in the early stages of recovery.  After nephrectomy your remaining kidney goes through all sorts of changes to take up the extra workload and you need to give it time to adjust.  For one thing, that kidney will significantly increase in size.  My nephrologist told me that this is one reason why some people feel occasional discomfort on the side of their 'good' kidney.  Also, though your overall GFR may appear to have decreased, the GFR of your remaining kidney has actually increased... by quite a bit!  Otherwise, it wouldn't even be close to that of a 'normal' person.  I am now twelve years out from nephrectomy and my creatinine level for the past two years was .78 mg/dl.  I don't know what that number was right after my nephrectomy because honestly I just didn't care at the time, but I bet it was much higher.  You are doing well for only being five months out from nephrectomy, and your numbers show it.

icemantoo's picture
Posts: 3262
Joined: Jan 2010

I just had bloodwork 10 and 1/2 years after my neph. Creatine is 1.56 which is high, but normal for one kidney. GFR is 45 up from 41 a year ago. Nephrologist says although that is low it is not that uncommon for someone 69 even with 2 kidneys. Have been wathching my blood pressure a lot more in the past 2 years to  keep the GFR up.



Texas_wedge's picture
Posts: 2799
Joined: Nov 2011

Good news iceman and a useful pointer that our GFR doesn't inevitably keep going down with age.  The body does its best to compensate for the lost kidney and, with sensible management, we can keep our GFR from dropping further or even get it back up, as you've done.

GSRon's picture
Posts: 1304
Joined: Jan 2013

OK, yes I am still a newbie here....  However, what is "Normal" is not concrete...  Different doctors have different opinions on this subject.  Yes i am pretty sure none would argue that the OP of 1.06 is plenty good.. 

BUT, my Doctors / Hospital dictates that they will not "routinely" do a Scan with contrast at above a 1.4 Creatinine level unless the the need for the extra clarity outweighed the risk of Kidney damage.   That said, as my situation dictates some extra risk, they will only use Contrast every other Scan (once every 6 months), and even then use like half the normal amount of dye.. then monitor my Creatinine level... which is in the 1.5 range.  If you only have one Kidney... I suggest that you ask lots of questions..!

OK, so the end result, is that with no Contrast the nasty Crud showed up anyway... so in my case (everyone is different) no need for extra risk...  What they did instead is take more scans to get one they felt was definitive enough...  again everyone is different...

Good Luck all...

Ron - Monterey, Ca.

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