CAS number 60-27-5 YesY
PubChem 26009888, 588 minor tautomer
ChemSpider 21640982 YesY
EC number 200-466-7
UN number 1789
KEGG D03600 YesY
MeSH Creatinine
Beilstein Reference 112061
3DMet B00175
Jmol-3D images Image 1
Molecular formula C4N3H7O
Molar mass 113.1179 g mol-1
Exact mass 113.058911861 g mol-1
Appearance White crystals
Density 1.09 g cm-3
log P -1.76
Acidity (pKa) 12.309
Basicity (pKb) 1.688
Isoelectric point 11.19
EU classification Harmful Xn
R-phrases R34, R36/37/38, R20/21/22
S-phrases S26, S36/37/39, S45, S24/25, S36
NFPA 704
NFPA 704.svg
Flash point 290 °C
 N (verify) (what is: YesY/N?)
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C, 100 kPa)
Infobox references

Creatinine (from the Greek κρέας, flesh, pronounced, krē-'a-tə-nēn, -ən cre·at·i·nine) is a break-down product of creatine phosphate in muscle, and is usually produced at a fairly constant rate by the body (depending on muscle mass). Creatinine starts to decompose above 295 °C.

In chemical terms, creatinine is a spontaneously formed cyclic derivative of creatine. Creatinine is chiefly filtered out of the blood by the kidneys (glomerular filtration and proximal tubular secretion). There is little-to-no tubular reabsorption of creatinine. If the filtering of the kidney is deficient, creatinine blood levels rise. Therefore, creatinine levels in blood and urine may be used to calculate the creatinine clearance (CrCl), which reflects the glomerular filtration rate (GFR).

The GFR is clinically important because it is a measurement of renal function. However, in cases of severe renal dysfunction, the creatinine clearance rate will be "overestimated" because the active secretion of creatinine will account for a larger fraction of the total creatinine cleared[clarification needed]. Ketoacids, cimetidine and trimethoprim reduce creatinine tubular secretion and therefore increase the accuracy of the GFR estimate, particularly in severe renal dysfunction. (In the absence of secretion, creatinine behaves like inulin.)

A more complete estimation of renal function can be made when interpreting the blood (plasma) concentration of creatinine along with that of urea. BUN-to-creatinine ratio (the ratio of blood urea nitrogen to creatinine) can indicate other problems besides those intrinsic to the kidney; for example, a urea level raised out of proportion to the creatinine may indicate a pre-renal problem such as volume depletion.

Men generally tend to have higher levels of creatinine because they have more skeletal muscle mass than women. Vegetarians have been shown to have lower creatinine levels.[1]

There exists several tautomers of creatinine. Ordered by contribution, they are:

  • 2-Amino-1-methyl-1H-imidazol-4-ol or 2-Amino-1-methylimidazol-4-ol
  • 2-Amino-1-methyl-4,5-dihydro-1H-imidazol-4-one
  • 2-Imino-1-methyl-2,3-dihydro-1H-imidazol-4-ol or 2-Imino-1-methyl-3H-imidazol-4-ol
  • 2-Imino-1-methylimidazolidin-4-one
  • 2-Imino-1-methyl-2,5-dihydro-1H-imidazol-4-ol or 2-Imino-1-methyl-5H-imidazol-4-ol


Diagnostic use

Serum creatinine

Measuring serum creatinine is a simple test and it is the most commonly used indicator of renal function.

A rise in blood creatinine level is observed only with marked damage to functioning nephrons. Therefore, this test is not suitable for detecting early-stage kidney disease. A better estimation of kidney function is given by the creatinine clearance (CrCl) test. Creatinine clearance can be accurately calculated using serum creatinine concentration and some or all of the following variables: sex, age, weight, and race, as suggested by the American Diabetes Association without a 24-hour urine collection.[2] Some laboratories will calculate the CrCl if written on the pathology request form, and the necessary age, sex, and weight are included in the patient information.

A current concern in late 2010 relates to the adoption of a new analytical methodology, and a possible impact this may have in clinical medicine. All clinical laboratories in the US will soon use a new standardized Isotope Dilution Mass Spectrometry (IDMS) method to measure serum creatinine. IDMS appears to give lower values compared to older methods when the serum creatinine values are relatively low, for example 0.7 mg/dL. The IDMS method would result in a comparative overestimation of the corresponding calculated Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR) in some patients with normal renal function. A few medicines are dosed even in normal renal function on that derived GFR. The dose, unless further modified, could now be higher than desired, potentially causing increased drug-related toxicity. To counter the effect of changing to IDMS, new FDA guidelines have suggested limiting doses to specified maximums with carboplatin, a chemotherapy drug.[3]

A recent Japanese study suggests that a lower-serum creatinine level is associated with an increased risk for the development of type 2 diabetes in Japanese men..[4]

Urine creatinine

Creatinine concentration is also checked during standard urine drug tests. Normal creatinine levels indicate that the test sample is undiluted, whereas low amounts of creatinine in the urine either indicate either a manipulated test or low individual baseline creatinine levels. Test samples that are considered manipulated due to low creatinine aren't tested and the test is sometimes considered failed.

It should be noted[citation needed] that diluted samples may not always be due to a conscious effort of subversion and diluted samples cannot be proved to be intentional, but are only assumed to be. Random urine creatinine levels have no standard reference ranges. They are usually used with other tests to reference levels of other substances measured in the urine. Diuretics, such as coffee and tea, cause more frequent urination, thus potently decreasing creatinine levels. A decrease in muscle mass will also cause a lower reading of creatinine, as will pregnancy.


In the United States, creatinine is typically reported in mg/dL, whereas, in Canada and a few European countries, μmol/litre may be used. 1 mg/dL of creatinine is 88.4 μmol/L.

The typical human reference ranges for serum creatinine are 0.5 to 1.0 mg/dL (about 45-90 μmol/L) for women and 0.7 to 1.2 mg/dL (60-110 μmol/L) for men. While a baseline (medicine) serum creatinine of 2.0 mg/dL (150 μmol/L) may indicate normal kidney function in a male body builder, a serum creatinine of 1.2 mg/dL (110 μmol/L) can indicate significant renal disease in an elderly female.[citation needed] for male reference range are 60-120 μmol/L and for female it is 50-110 μmol/L (Ref: Australian Medicine Handbook)

Reference ranges for blood tests, comparing blood content of creatinine (shown in apple-green) with other constituents.

More important than absolute creatinine level is the trend of serum creatinine levels over time.

Creatinine levels may increase when ACE inhibitors (ACEI) or angiotensin II receptor antagonists (or angiotensin receptor blockers, ARBs) are taken. Using both ACEI & ARB concomitantly will increase creatinine levels to a greater degree than either of the two drugs would individually. An increase of <30% is to be expected with ACEI or ARB use.

See also


  1. ^ Delanghe J; De Slypere JP, De Buyzere M, Robbrecht J, Wieme R, Vermeulen A (Aug 1989). "Normal reference values for creatine, creatinine, and carnitine are lower in vegetarians" (PDF). Clin. Chem. 35 (8): 1802–3. PMID 2758659. Retrieved 2009-03-01. "As shown, measured serum and erythrocyte creatine content, and estimated muscle creatine content, are lower in vegetarians than in the reference population" 
  2. ^ Gross JL, de Azevedo MJ, Silveiro SP, Canani LH, Caramori ML, Zelmanovitz T (2005). "Diabetic nephropathy: diagnosis, prevention, and treatment". Diabetes Care 28 (1): 164–76. doi:10.2337/diacare.28.1.164. PMID 15616252. 
  3. ^ accessioned 2010 October 22
  4. ^ Harita, N.; Hayashi, T.; Sato, K. K.; Nakamura, Y.; Yoneda, T.; Endo, G.; Kambe, H. (2008). [ "Lower Serum Creatinine is a New Risk Factor of Type 2 Diabetes: the Kansai Healthcare Study"]. Diabetes Care 32: 424. doi:10.2337/dc08-1265

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Créatinine — Général Nom IUPAC 2 amino 3 méthyl 4H imidazol 5 one No CAS …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Creatinine — Créatinine Créatinine Général Nom IUPAC créatinine No CAS …   Wikipédia en Français

  • créatinine — [ kreatinin ] n. f. • 1863; de créatine ♦ Biochim. Anhydride de la créatine, dont la mesure dans l urine est utilisée pour évaluer la fonction rénale. ● créatinine nom féminin Substance azotée provenant de la dégradation de la créatine. (La… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • creatinine — by 1847, from CREATINE (Cf. creatine) + chemical suffix INE (Cf. ine) (2) …   Etymology dictionary

  • creatinine — [krē at′ə nēn΄, krē at′ənin] n. [Ger kreatinin < kreatin (see CREATINE) + INE3] the anhydride of creatine, C4H7N3O, found in blood, muscle, and esp. urine, where measurement of its excretion is used to evaluate kidney function …   English World dictionary

  • Creatinine — A chemical waste molecule that is generated from muscle metabolism. Creatinine is produced from creatine, a molecule of major importance for energy production in muscles. Approximately 2% of the body s creatine is converted to creatinine every… …   Medical dictionary

  • creatinine — n. a substance derived from creatine and creatine phosphate in muscle. Creatinine is excreted in the urine …   The new mediacal dictionary

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  • creatinine — kreatininas statusas T sritis chemija formulė Formulę žr. priede. priedas( ai) Grafinis formatas atitikmenys: angl. creatinine rus. креатинин ryšiai: sinonimas – 1,5 dihidro 2 imino 1 metil 4(4H) imidazolonas …   Chemijos terminų aiškinamasis žodynas

  • creatinine — A compound that is excreted from the body in urine. Creatinine levels are measured to monitor kidney function …   English dictionary of cancer terms

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