ISSN 2398-2985      

Blood biochemistry: urea

4ferrets

Synonym(s): Blood urea nitrogen, BUN


Overview

  • Produced in liver from ammonia derived from tissue/dietary protein and excreted by kidneys.
  • Important marker of kidney function, protein metabolism and upper gastrointestinal tract hemorrhage.
  • Urea and blood urea nitrogen (BUN) may be different depending on the assay used. As a general rule, in the USA, only the nitrogen component of urea is measured (BUN), while in Europe, the whole urea molecule is assayed.
  • Therefore, BUN is roughly one-half (0.446) of blood urea.

Sampling

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Tests

Methodologies

  • Typically measured as (total) blood urea nitrogen (BUN).
  • Blood strips can be used to get a rapid results; they do not give precise readings but will show if levels are significantly elevated.
  • Chromatographic assays are most accurate: picric acid based tests overestimate values.

Availability

  • Widely available.

Validity

Sensitivity

  • Increases in BUN and creatinine do not occur until an estimated 75% of renal function has been lost.

Specificity

  • Creatinine generally serves as a better indicator of renal function because BUN can be influenced by many nonrenal factors.

Technique (intrinsic) limitations

  • Only significant in conjunction with other laboratory and clinical findings.
  • Most useful to assess in conjunction with a urine specific gravity.

Result Data

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed Papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Hein J, Spreyer F, Sauter-Louis C et al (2012) Reference ranges for laboratory parameters in ferrets. Vet Rec 171, 218 PubMed.
  • Hauptman K, Tichy F & Znotek Z (2001) Clinical diagnostics of hepatopathies in small mammals: evaluation of importance of individual methods. Acta Vet Brno 70, 297-311.

Other sources of information

  • Fox J G & Marini R P (eds) (2014) Biology and Diseases of the Ferret. 3rd edn. Wiley Blackwell, USA. pp 835.
  • Mayer J & Donnelly T M (2013) Clinical Veterinary Advisor: Birds and Exotic Pets. Elsevier, USA. pp 752.

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