A common blood test, the blood urea nitrogen (BUN) test reveals important information about how well your kidneys and liver are working. A BUN test measures the amount of urea nitrogen that's in your blood.
Here's how your body typically forms and gets rid of urea nitrogen:
- Your liver produces ammonia — which contains nitrogen — after it breaks down proteins used by your body's cells.
- The nitrogen combines with other elements, such as carbon, hydrogen and oxygen, to form urea, which is a chemical waste product.
- The urea travels from your liver to your kidneys through your bloodstream.
- Healthy kidneys filter urea and remove other waste products from your blood.
- The filtered waste products leave your body through urine.
A BUN test can reveal whether your urea nitrogen levels are higher than normal, suggesting that your kidneys or liver may not be working properly.
July 02, 2016
- Blood urea nitrogen (BUN), serum. Mayo Medical Laboratories. http://www.mayomedicallaboratories.com/test-catalog/Clinical+and+Interpretive/81793. Accessed May 9, 2016.
- Rodwell VW, et al., eds. Catabolism of Proteins & of Amino Acid Nitrogen. In: Harper's Illustrated Biochemistry. 30th ed. New York, N.Y.: McGraw-Hill Education; 2015. http://www.accessmedicine.com. Accessed May 10, 2016.
- Blood urea nitrogen. Lab Tests Online. https://labtestsonline.org/understanding/analytes/bun/tab/test/. Accessed May 10, 2016.
- Inkler LA, et al. Assessment of kidney function. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May 9, 2016.
Blood urea nitrogen (BUN) test