Serum Creatinine Normal Values

Serum Creatinine

  • It is a by product of in the breakdown of muscle creatinine phosphate resulting from energy metabolism.
  • It is produced at a constant rate depending on the muscle mass of the person and is removed from the body by the kidneys.
  • Production of creatinine is constant as long as muscle mass remains constant.
  • A disorder in kidney function reduces excretion of creatinine, resulting in increased blood creatinine levels. Thus, serum creatinine levels give an approximation of the glomerular filtration rate.
  • It diagnoses impaired renal function. It is a more specific and sensitive indicator of kidney disease than BUN.

Normal Values:

Young Children (0 – 3 years old): 0.3 – 0.7 mg/dL

Children (3 – 18 years old): 0.5 – 0.10 mg/dL

Adults Men: 0.9 – 1.3 mg/dL

Adults Women: 0.6 – 1.1 mg/dL


  • This is done by obtaining 5 mL of venous blood serum sample.
  • Assess diet for meat and protein intake.

Clinical Implications:

  • Increased creatinine:
  1. impaired renal function
  2. chronic nephritis
  3. obstruction of urinary tract
  4. muscle disease such as gigantism, acromegaly
  5. congestive heart failure
  6. shock
  7. dehydration
  8. rhabdomyolysis
  9. hyperthyroidism
  • Decreased creatinine:
  1. small stature
  2. decreased muscle mass
  3. advanced and severe liver disease
  4. inadequate dietary protein
  5. pregnancy

Interfering Factors:

  • High levels of ascorbic acid and cephalosphorin antibiotics can cause a false increased creatinine level.
  • Drugs that influence kidney function plus other medications can cause a change in the blood creatinine level.
  • A diet high in meat can elevate serum creatinine levels.
  • Creatinine is falsely decreased by by bilirubin, glucose, histidine and quinidine compounds.
  • Ketoacidosis may increase serum creatinine substantially.

Nursing Considerations:

  1. Correlate the elevated createnine levels to clinical problems. Low levels indicates small muscle mass which is mostly found in amputees and in clients with muscle disease.
  2. As ordered by the physician, hold all medications for 24 hours before the test as some medications may affect the result.
  3. Check the urine output in 24 hours. Renal insufficiency may happen when urine output is less  than 600ml for 24 hours.
  4. If BUN and createnine are increased, most likely there is kidney disease.

Photo credits:

Daisy Jane Antipuesto RN MN

Currently a Nursing Local Board Examination Reviewer. Subjects handled are Pediatric, Obstetric and Psychiatric Nursing. Previous work experiences include: Clinical instructor/lecturer, clinical coordinator (Level II), caregiver instructor/lecturer, NC2 examination reviewer and staff/clinic nurse. Areas of specialization: Emergency room, Orthopedic Ward and Delivery Room. Also an IELTS passer.

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