## Abstract

Background: Estimates of glomerular filtration rate (GFR) that are based on serum creatinine are routinely used; however, they are imprecise, potentially leading to the overdiagnosis of chronic kidney disease. Cystatin C is an alternative filtration marker for estimating GFR. Methods: Using cross-sectional analyses, we developed estimating equations based on cystatin C alone and in combination with creatinine in diverse populations totaling 5352 participants from 13 studies. These equations were then validated in 1119 participants from 5 different studies in which GFR had been measured. Cystatin and creatinine assays were traceable to primary reference materials. Results: Mean measured GFRs were 68 and 70 ml per minute per 1.73 m^{2} of body-surface area in the development and validation data sets, respectively. In the validation data set, the creatinine-cystatin C equation performed better than equations that used creatinine or cystatin C alone. Bias was similar among the three equations, with a median difference between measured and estimated GFR of 3.9 ml per minute per 1.73 m^{2} with the combined equation, as compared with 3.7 and 3.4 ml per minute per 1.73 m2 with the creatinine equation and the cystatin C equation (P = 0.07 and P = 0.05), respectively. Precision was improved with the combined equation (inter-quartile range of the difference, 13.4 vs. 15.4 and 16.4 ml per minute per 1.73 m^{2}, respectively [P = 0.001 and P<0.001]), and the results were more accurate (percentage of estimates that were >30% of measured GFR, 8.5 vs. 12.8 and 14.1, respectively [P<0.001 for both comparisons]). In participants whose estimated GFR based on creatinine was 45 to 74 ml per minute per 1.73 m^{2}, the combined equation improved the classification of measured GFR as either less than 60 ml per minute per 1.73 m^{2} or greater than or equal to 60 ml per minute per 1.73 m^{2} (net reclassification index, 19.4% [P<0.001]) and correctly reclassified 16.9% of those with an estimated GFR of 45 to 59 ml per minute per 1.73 m^{2} as having a GFR of 60 ml or higher per minute per 1.73 m ^{2}. Conclusions: The combined creatinine-cystatin C equation performed better than equations based on either of these markers alone and may be useful as a confirmatory test for chronic kidney disease. (Funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.)

Original language | English (US) |
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Pages (from-to) | 20-29 |

Number of pages | 10 |

Journal | New England Journal of Medicine |

Volume | 367 |

Issue number | 1 |

DOIs | |

State | Published - Jul 5 2012 |