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Kidney Diseases

Creatinine Numbers for Good Health

12/22/2009

Question:

My husband is in the hospital. He is not taking this seriousy, His creatinine # is already above 6. What`s the highest he can go without it being final?

Answer:

This depends somewhat on your husband's age, size, and body build.  A high creatinine level in itself will not be fatal, but it is a sign of kidney failure, which means that a number of waste products and poisons will stay in the body instead of being excreted by the kidneys.  These poisons can build up to harmful and even fatal levels.  In general, an adult person of normal size will probably need dialysis (kidney replacement treatment) by the time the creatinine reaches around 10 or higher.  The exact time of starting dialysis depends on other blood tests (such as BUN, potassium, bicarbonate) and on how much he is retaining fluid and swelling up.  At this point, your husband needs to be followed very closely by a kidney specialist (nephrologist), if he is not being so already. 

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Response by:

Mildred   Lam, MD Mildred Lam, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University