Discrepancies between Cystatin C-Based and Creatinine-Based eGFR

Danielle K. Farrington, Aditya Surapaneni, Kunihiro Matsushita, Jesse C. Seegmiller, Josef Coresh, Morgan E. Grams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Recent guidance suggests clinicians increase use of cystatin C for the estimation of GFR. Discrepant levels of creatinine- versus cystatin C-based eGFR (eGFRcr versus eGFRcys) can occur and might signify inaccurate estimation of GFR using creatinine alone. This study sought to enhance the knowledge of the risk factors and clinical implications of having a large eGFR discrepancy. METHODS: Participants in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study, a prospective cohort study of US adults, were followed over 25 years. eGFR discrepancy was measured at five clinical visits and defined as eGFRcys either 30% lower or higher than eGFRcr, the current clinical standard of care. The associations between eGFR discrepancies and kidney-related laboratory parameters were assessed using linear and logistic regression and long-term adverse outcomes, including kidney failure, AKI, heart failure, and death, using Cox proportional hazards models. RESULTS: Among 13,197 individuals (mean age 57 [SD 6] years, 56% women, 25% Black race), 7% had eGFRcys 30% lower than eGFRcr at visit 2 (1990-1992), and this proportion increased over time to 23% by visit 6 (2016-2017). By contrast, the percent with eGFRcys 30% higher than eGFRcr was relatively stable (3%-1%). Independent risk factors for having eGFRcys 30% lower than eGFRcr included older age, female sex, non-Black race, higher eGFRcr, higher body mass index, weight loss, and current smoking. Those with eGFRcys 30% lower than eGFRcr had more anemia and higher uric acid, fibroblast growth factor 23, and phosphate levels as well as higher risk of subsequent mortality, kidney failure, AKI, and heart failure compared with those with similar eGFRcr and eGFRcys values. CONCLUSIONS: Having eGFRcys lower than eGFRcr was associated with worse kidney-related laboratory derangements and a higher risk of adverse health outcomes. PODCAST: This article contains a podcast at https://dts.podtrac.com/redirect.mp3/www.asn-online.org/media/podcast/CJASN/2023_09_08_CJN0000000000000217.mp3.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1143-1152
Number of pages10
JournalClinical journal of the American Society of Nephrology : CJASN
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2023 by the American Society of Nephrology.

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural


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