Fractional excretion of sodium is the amount of salt (sodium) that leaves the body through urine compared to the amount filtered and reabsorbed by the kidney.
Fractional excretion of sodium (FENa) is not a test. Instead it is a calculation based on the concentrations of sodium and creatinine in the blood and urine.
FE sodium; FENa
How the Test is Performed
How to Prepare for the Test
Eat your normal foods with a normal amount of salt, unless otherwise instructed by your health care provider.
If needed, you may be told to temporarily stop medicines that interfere with test results. For example, some diuretic medicines (water pills) can affect test results.
How the Test will Feel
When the needle is inserted to draw blood, some people feel moderate pain. Others feel only a prick or stinging. Afterward, there may be some throbbing or slight bruising. This soon goes away.
Why the Test is Performed
The test is usually done for people who are very ill with
What Abnormal Results Mean
A meaningful interpretation of the test can be made only when your urine volume has dropped to less than 500 mL/day.
FENa of lower than 1% indicates decreased blood flow to the kidney. This can occur with kidney damage due to
FENa higher than 1% suggests damage to the kidney itself.
There are no risks with the urine sample.
There is little risk involved with having your blood taken. Veins and arteries vary in size from one person to another and from one side of the body to the other. Taking blood from some people may be more difficult than from others.
Other risks of having blood drawn are slight, but may include:
- Excessive bleeding
- Multiple punctures to locate veins
- Fainting or feeling lightheaded
- Blood accumulating under the skin (hematoma)
- Infection (a slight risk any time the skin is broken)
Parikh CR, Koyner JL. Biomarkers in acute and chronic kidney diseases. In: Yu ASL, Chertow GM, Luyckx VA, Marsden PA, Skorecki K, Taal MW, eds. Brenner and Rector's The Kidney. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 27.
Polonsky TS, Bakris GL. Alterations in kidney function associated with heart failure. In: Felker GM, Mann DL, eds. Heart Failure: A Companion to Braunwald's Heart Disease. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 15.
Review Date: 08/10/2019
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