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Urea and Electrolytes Test

Urea and Electrolytes Test

U&E is often used as a screening test for patients who are generally unwell, to detect abnormalities of blood chemistry, including kidney failure and dehydration.

How the Test is Performed

The U&E test is a blood test and requires a few millilitres of blood from a vein. In newborn babies blood may be taken from a heel-prick sample.

Medical Conditions and Symptoms

U&E is usually performed to confirm normal kidney function (renal function) or to exclude a serious imbalance of biochemical salts in the bloodstream. A diverse number of conditions may be detected on the U&E test, as each parameter tested may be high or low. These conditions include:

  • hyponatraemia (low sodium)
  • hypernatraemia (high sodium)
  • hypokalaemia (low potassium)
  • hyperkalaemia (high potassium)
  • metabolic acidosis (low bicarbonate)
  • metabolic alkalosis (high bicarbonate)
  • dehydration (high urea and/or creatinine)
  • renal (kidney) impairment or failure (high urea and/or creatinine)
  • gastrointestinal bleeding (high urea)
  • hypoglycaemia (low glucose)
  • hyperglycaemia (high glucose)

Each of these conditions in turn have several possible causes.

Test Results Explained

Related Specialists

Related Procedures

  • Pre-operative Anaesthetic assessment

Related Tests

  • Sodium (Na)
  • Potassium (K)
  • Chloride (Cl)
  • Biocarbonate (HCO3, Bicarb)
  • Urea (U)
  • Creatinine (Cr)
  • Glucose (glu)

Also Known As

  • Urea, Electrolytes & Creatinine (UEC)
  • Creatinine, Urea, Electrolytes & Glucose (CUEG)
  • Electrolytes Routine Bichemistry