Urea and Electrolytes (U+E's)
Urea and Electrolytes is a series of blood tests looking at kidney function, it also provides information on other things like dehydration and infection.
Different hospitals have different things included in their U+E's request form but some of the more standard ones and what they may tell you are detailed below:
- Many things cause hypo/hypernatraemia (low/high sodium)
- If severe can cause cerebral oedema and seizures
- Many things cause hypo/hyperkalaemia (low/high potassium)
- If abnormal can lead to arrythmias
- Creatinine is a product of muscle metabolism that is secreted by the kidneys
- Many things cause an abnormal creatinine including kidney failure (decreased clearance leads to more creatinine being present in the blood) and rhabdomyolysis (damaged muscle e.g. after trauma or fall and long lie before being discovered, leading to a high creatinine, can cause kidney failure)
- A high urea is called ureamia (leads to itching with no rash)
- Urea is a product of liver metabolism normally excreted by the kidneys
- Many things can cause an abnormal urea, if raised think dehydration, infection, kidney problems (as reduced clearance leads to more urea being present in the blood)
Cystoscopy is a procedure that allows visualisation of the bladder using a cystoscope (a type of endoscope which is either rigid or flexible). This is passed up the urethera and into the bladder that is then filled with water to allow the operator to inspect the inside of the bladder. It can be performed as an outpatient appointment.
The cystoscope can also be used to take biopsies and remove small bladder stones.
A KUB is a specific series of x-rays used to visualise the kidneys, ureter and bladder, which are normally difficult to see on a standard Abdominal X-Ray.