Early Detection: Diagnosing Kidney Disease with Specimen Collection and Urinalysis
More than 20 million adults in America have some form of chronic kidney disease. That’s one in 10, with millions more also suffering from end-stage renal disease or permanent kidney failure requiring total replacement of the kidneys. Despite being a serious ailment, the initial symptoms of kidney disease can seem innocuous and can easily be attributed to other diseases without urinalysis testing via a sterile, fully medically approved specimen collection kit.
While these specimen collection kits can be used to detect a number of illnesses and infections, when used in urinalysis testing for kidney disease specimen kits are a key tool in early diagnosis and treatment.1
High-Quality Specimen Collection Kits Help Prevent Kidney Disease Misdiagnosis
Doctors, nurse practitioners and physician assistants will order urinalysis using specimen collection kits as part of routine medical screenings, to get more information about specific symptoms, for diagnosing medical conditions, or for monitoring the progression of a disease or whether a patient is responding to a particular therapy regimen. The tests can be especially important for health care providers accustomed to utilizing cutting-edge treatments or with a higher-risk patient base.2
In the case of kidney disease, early stage detection can be crucial to applying a care regimen quickly and effectively enough to either return a patient to health, or mitigate pain and suffering as much as possible for end-stage diagnoses. After collecting a sample, health care professionals will subject the sample to three potential tests: visual, chemical and microscopic, if necessary. Blood or other cloudiness in the sample can relate to infections and will be evident simply from a visual test. For detecting potential kidney disease through abnormalities in urine, however, a chemical test is necessary.3
Typically, chemical tests will be in the form of “dipsticks” or carefully formulated reagent strips that react to any abnormalities in the sample and turn distinct colors. An excess buildup of blood, pus, bacteria, sugar or protein in urine can indicate chronic kidney disease, diabetes, bladder infections or kidney stones.
A 2011 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association of more than 26,000 adults found that adding a urine albumin-to-creatinine ratio (ACR) urinalysis test to the diagnosis strategy for kidney disease increased a medical professional’s accuracy over relying on the creatinine test alone. The creatinine test is currently the standard diagnostic test for assessing kidney disease. The addition of the urine test improved detection and classification of chronic kidney disease, enabling health care providers to make more accurate diagnoses and improving care regimens.4
Misdiagnoses of kidney disease abound, both of whether a patient had chronic kidney disease and which type. Combining blood tests and urine tests taken in medical-grade specimen collection kits can help providers avoid misdiagnosis and the potential patient harm that can come from going through a treatment regimen for a disease they do not have, or not receiving the correct treatment for an illness that went undetected.
What to Look for in Your Hospital or Clinic’s Specimen Collection Kits
Patients who may have chronic kidney issues often show other signs of poor health. They may be elderly, have difficulty urinating, be weakened from immune diseases or other illnesses, or simply need additional aid with properly providing a sample to a health professional. Specimen collection kits often come with diuretic pills to assist these patients with providing a sample for kidney disease diagnostic purposes. Furosemide is a low-impact diuretic that can be included with kits in low doses. Although it is usually used to treat edema, hypertension or congestive heart failure, the single dose can help with specimen collection.
Kits should also be easy to seal and label, in accordance with best medical practices for all samples of bodily fluid. Particularly in the case of samples ordered for diagnosing kidney disease, any mix-up or improper storage could lead to a false diagnosis. Kidney disease treatment can be limited to medications to lower blood pressure, cholesterol, treat anemia or simply a lower-protein diet, but it can also include dialysis and organ removal. No patient should be misdiagnosed and have to undergo the stress of a diagnosis and a treatment regime on the basis of an incorrect urinalysis.5
Health care providers certainly have many tools available to them for making diagnoses, especially for something as grave as serious kidney disease, but the potential for misdiagnosis makes it essential to equip your hospital or urgent care facility with specimen collection kits from accredited health care suppliers.
Pharmaceutica North America is the premier provider of high-quality, medical-grade active pharmaceutical ingredients, compounding kits and medicated specimen kits for the best patient care. Contact us to learn more about our wholesale specimen kits or other products.
- “Kidney Disease Statistics for the United States,” accessed Sept. 19, 2015, http://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-statistics/Pages/kidney-disease-statistics-united-states.aspx ↩
- “Times Health Guide: Urinalysis,” http://www.nytimes.com/health/guides/test/urinalysis/overview.html ↩
- “Tests to Measure Kidney Function, Damage and Detect Abnormalities,” https://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/kidneytests; “Understanding urine tests,” Jan. 22, 2013, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0072534 ↩
- “New Diagnostic Strategy Reveals Many Missed Cases of Kidney Disease, Study Shows,” April 11, 2011, https://www.ucsf.edu/news/2011/04/9695/new-diagnostic-strategy-reveals-many-missed-cases-kidney-disease-study-shows ↩
- “Kidney Disease: Early Detection and Treatment,” 2008, https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/magazine/issues/winter08/articles/winter08pg9-10.html ↩