Highest creatinine in chronic renal failure

Mr. S., a 38 y.o. African American male, came to the hospital with nausea, vomiting and fatigue. Initial creatinine was 36.2 mg/dl. After hydration overnight it came back at 38 mg/dl.

Update: one of the comments asked about the patients body habitus, rhabdo and BUN.

  • Mr S. is muscular but no body builder
  • He was not in rhabdo. I would not include an elevated creatinine due to muscle breakdown under the crazy numbers tag as it essentially represents a lab error, in that the creatinine is no longer a measure of severity of the renal failure or the chronicity but rather a measure of the aggregate muscle damage.
  • His BUN was 139 mg/dL

This patient had a remote diagnosis of hypertension but had been out of any medications for months. The computer showed a 2 year old creatinine of 2 but the patient denied any memory of being told he had CKD.

One of my co-fellows, Rajiv Poduval, used to call this acute ESRD. Chronic kidney disease that goes unrecognized until the patient rolls into the ED in need of dialysis.

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