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Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. 2010 Mar;5(3):497-502. doi: 10.2215/CJN.05280709. Epub 2010 Jan 28.

Imprecision of creatinine-based GFR estimates in uninephric kidney donors.

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To ensure long-term safety of living kidney donors, it is now recommended that they be followed for at least 2 years after donation and that serum creatinine levels be monitored. Such levels are often subjected by clinical laboratories to estimating equations and are reported as estimated GFR (eGFR). The accuracy of such equations in uninephric living donors has yet to be validated. This is especially important in older living donors, who often have senescence-related depression of GFR.


We compared urinary creatinine clearance, four-variable Modification of Diet in Renal Disease estimating equation (eGFR), and the recently reported CKD-EPI GFR estimating equation with true GFR measured by the urinary iothalamate clearance (iGFR) in 64 subjects after kidney donation.


Creatinine clearance overestimated iGFR. Both creatinine-based estimating equations were poorly correlated with and underestimated iGFR. More than half of kidney donors had eGFR <60 ml/min per 1.73 m(2) after donation, a level that categorized them as having stage 3 chronic kidney disease by our current laboratory reporting, whereas only 25% had iGFR <60 ml/min per 1.73 m(2). This misclassification disproportionately affected older donors age > or =55 years, of whom 80% had eGFR <60 ml/min per 1.73 m(2). Neither significant albuminuria nor hypertension was observed.


The current practice of reporting eGFR after donation commonly leads to a misclassification of chronic kidney disease, particularly in older donors. To ensure long-term well-being of living kidney donors, more precise estimates of GFR are required, particularly among older potential donors.

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