BUN - blood test

Definition

BUN stands for blood urea nitrogen. Urea nitrogen is what forms when protein breaks down.

A test can be done to measure the amount of urea nitrogen in the blood.

How the Test is Performed

A blood sample is needed. Most of the time blood is drawn from a vein located on the inside of the elbow or the back of the hand.

How to Prepare for the Test

Many medicines can interfere with blood test results.

How the Test will Feel

You may feel slight pain or a sting when the needle is inserted. You may also feel some throbbing at the site after the blood is drawn.

Why the Test is Performed

The BUN test is often done to check kidney function.

Normal Results

The normal result is generally 6 to 20 mg/dL.

Note: Normal values may vary among different labs. Talk to your provider about your specific test results.

The examples above show the common measurements for results for these tests. Some laboratories use different measurements or may test different specimens.

What Abnormal Results Mean

Higher-than-normal level may be due to:

Lower-than-normal level may be due to:

Considerations

For people with liver disease, the BUN level may be low, even if the kidneys are normal.


Review Date: 4/29/2019
Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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