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Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology
Volume 20, Issue 8, Pages 521-526
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2006/858053
Original Article

Serum Creatinine in Patients with Advanced Liver Disease Is of Limited Value for Identification of Moderate Renal Dysfunction: Are the Equations for Estimating Renal Function Better?

Jillian MacAulay,1 Kara Thompson,2 Bryce A Kiberd,3 David C Barnes,4 and Kevork M Peltekian1

1Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology (Hepatology Services), Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
2Office of Medical Outcomes Research and Biostatistics, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
3Division of Nephrology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
4Department of Diagnostic Imaging, Division of Nuclear Medicine, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Received 12 July 2005; Accepted 25 January 2006

Copyright © 2006 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: The Cockcroft-Gault formula (CGF) is used to estimate the glomerular filtration rate (GFR) based on serum creatinine (Cr) levels, age and sex. A new formula developed by the Modification of Diet in Renal Disease (MDRD) Study Group, based on the patient’s Cr levels, age, sex, race and serum urea nitrogen and serum albumin levels, has shown to be more accurate. However, the best formula to identify patients with advanced liver disease (ALD) and moderate renal dysfunction (GFR 60 mL/min/1.73 m2 or less) is not known. The aim of the present study was to compare calculations of GFR, using published formulas (excluding those requiring urine collections) with standard radionuclide measurement of GFR in patients with ALD.

METHODS: Fifty-seven consecutive subjects (40% women) with a mean age of 50 years (range 16 to 67 years) underwent 99m-technetium-diethylenetriamine pentaacetic acid (99mTc-DTPA) (single injection) radionuclide measurement of GFR. To calculate GFR, three formulas were used: the reciprocal of Cr multiplied by 100 (100/Cr), the CGF and the MDRD formulas. Pearson’s correlation coefficient (r) and Bland-Altman analyses of agreement were used to analyze the association between 99mTc-DTPA clearance and the three equations for GFR.

RESULTS: The mean 99mTc-DTPA clearance was 83 mL/min/1.73 m2 (range 28 mL/min/1.73 m2 to 173 mL/min/1.73 m2). Mean calculated GFRs by 100/Cr, the CGF and the MDRD formula were 106 mL/min/1.73 m2, 98 mL/min/1.73 m2 and 86 mL/min/1.73 m2, respectively. Regression analysis showed good correlation between radionuclide GFR and calculated GFR with r(100/Cr)=0.74, r(CGF)=0.80, r(MDRD)=0.87, all at P≤0.0001. The MDRD formula provided the least bias. The Bland-Altman plot showed best agreement between GFR calculated by the MDRD formula and 99mTc-DTPA clearance, with only 3 mL/min/1.73 m2 overestimation. There was higher variability between radionuclide GFR and calculated GFR by the CGF and by 100/Cr. Although there was no difference in precision, GFR calculated by the MDRD formula had the best overall accuracy. The sensitivity and specificity for detection of moderate renal dysfunction by the MDRD formulas were 73% and 87%, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS: Among the Cr-based GFR formulas, the MDRD formula showed a larger proportion of agreement with radionuclide GFR in patients with ALD. In clinical practice, the MDRD is the best formula for detection of moderate renal dysfunction among those with ALD.