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      Bedside Estimation of the Glomerular Filtration Rate in Hospitalized Elderly Patients

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          Aims: To evaluate the quality of bedside estimation of glomerular filtration rate (GFR) in hospitalized elderly patients. Methods: We evaluated common estimators of GFR in 29 women and 32 men aged 60 and older hospitalized in a geriatric ward: creatinine clearance (CCR), the Cockcroft-Gault formula (CG), the modification of diet in renal disease formula (MDRD), Baracskay formula (BAR), and a newly developed formula derived recently by us (GCM). Inulin clearance (CINU) was used to assess GFR. Exclusion criteria were mental illness and urinary incontinence. Results: According to Bland and Altman accuracy and precision of all estimators were low and there was an underestimation of actual GFR: CCR 38.9 ml/min; CG 39.7 ml/min; MDRD 19.8 ml/min; BAR 34.0 ml/min, and GCM: 24.7 ml/min. The accuracy and precision of all methods were even lower in patients with a GFR of >90 ml/min and in patients with diabetes. In receiver-operating characteristics (ROC analysis) all formulas were superior to serum creatinine and overall MDRD disclosed the best results in detecting both a GFR of <90 ml/min and <60 ml/min. Conclusions: In general, estimation errors are large in an acute care setting. However, formula estimation is clearly superior to serum creatinine and CCR. MDRD gave the best results but may be replaced by the more simple CG and GCM formulas, whereas BAR was inferior.

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          Serum creatinine and renal function.

          Serum creatinine is widely interpreted as a measure only of renal function; however, the serum level reflects not only renal excretion, but also the generation, intake, and metabolism of creatinine. In this review, we demonstrate that serum creatinine does not provide an adequate estimate of glomerular filtration rate (GFR), and contrary to recent teachings, that the slope of the reciprocal of serum creatinine vs time does not permit an accurate assessment of the rate of progression of renal disease. In clinical investigation, it is essential to utilize more accurate and sensitive measures of renal function to estimate GFR and progression. As effective treatments for progressive renal diseases are discovered, it will also be necessary to employ these measurements in clinical practice.
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            Cystatin C is a more sensitive marker than creatinine for the estimation of GFR in type 2 diabetic patients.

            Glomerular filtration rate (GFR) is the best overall index of renal function in health and disease. Inulin and 51Cr-EDTA plasma clearances are considered the gold standard methods for estimating GFR. Unfortunately, these methods require specialized technical personnel over a period of several hours and high costs. In clinical practice, serum creatinine is the most widely used index for the noninvasive assessment of GFR. Despite its specificity, serum creatinine demonstrates an inadequate sensitivity, particularly in the early stages of renal impairment. Recently, cystatin C, a low molecular mass plasma protein freely filtered through the glomerulus and almost completely reabsorbed and catabolized by tubular cells, has been proposed as a new and very sensitive serum marker of changes in GFR. This study was designed to test whether serum cystatin C can replace serum creatinine for the early assessment of nephropathy in patients with type 2 diabetes. The study was performed on 52 Caucasian type 2 diabetic patients. Patients with an abnormal albumin excretion rate (AER) were carefully examined to rule out non-diabetic renal diseases by ultrasonography, urine bacteriology, microscopic urine analysis, and kidney biopsy. Serum creatinine, serum cystatin C, AER, serum lipids, and glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) were measured. GFR was estimated by the plasma clearance of 51Cr-EDTA. In addition the Cockcroft and Gault formula (Cockcroft and Gault estimated GFR) was calculated. Cystatin C serum concentration progressively increased as GFR decreased. The overall relationship between the reciprocal cystatin C and GFR was significantly stronger (r = 0.84) than those between serum creatinine and GFR (r = 0.65) and between Cockcroft and Gault estimated GFR and GFR (r = 0.70). As GFR decreased from 120 to 20 mL/min/1.73 m2, cystatin C increased more significantly that serum creatinine, giving a stronger signal in comparison to that of creatinine over the range of the measured GFR. The maximum diagnostic accuracy of serum cystatin C (90%) was significantly better than those of serum creatinine (77%) and Cockcroft and Gault estimated GFR (85%) in discriminating between type 2 diabetic patients with normal GFR (>80 mL/min per 1.73 m2) and those with reduced GFR (<80 mL/min/1.73 m2). In particular, the cystatin C cut-off limit of 0.93 mg/L corresponded to a false-positive rate of 7.7% and to a false-negative rate of 1.9%; the serum creatinine cut-off limit of 87.5 micromol/L corresponded to a false-positive rate of 5.8% and to a false-negative rate of 17.0%. Cystatin C may be considered as an alternative and more accurate serum marker than serum creatinine or the Cockcroft and Gault estimated GFR in discriminating type 2 diabetic patients with reduced GFR from those with normal GFR.
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              Report of the committee on the genetic constitution of autosomes other than chromosomes 1, 2, and 6


                Author and article information

                Nephron Clin Pract
                Nephron Clinical Practice
                S. Karger AG
                September 2005
                11 May 2005
                : 101
                : 1
                : c1-c8
                a4th Medical Department, Specialty Geriatrics, and bMedical Research Center, University of Heidelberg, Klinikum Mannheim, Mannheim, Germany
                85705 Nephron Clin Pract 2005;101:c1–c8
                © 2005 S. Karger AG, Basel

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