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Ann Intern Med. 2012 Oct 2;157(7):471-81. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-157-7-201210020-00003.

Two novel equations to estimate kidney function in persons aged 70 years or older.

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Charité University Medicine, Campi Virchow, Mitte, Germany.



In older adults, current equations to estimate glomerular filtration rate (GFR) are not validated and may misclassify elderly persons in terms of their stage of chronic kidney disease.


To derive the Berlin Initiative Study (BIS) equation, a novel estimator of GFR in elderly participants.


Cross-sectional. Data were split for analysis into 2 sets for equation development and internal validation.


Random community-based population of a large insurance company.


610 participants aged 70 years or older (mean age, 78.5 years).


Iohexol plasma clearance measurement as gold standard.


GFR, measured as the plasma clearance of the endogenous marker iohexol, to compare performance of existing equations of estimated GFR with measured GFR of the gold standard; estimation of measured GFR from standardized creatinine and cystatin C levels, sex, and age in the learning sample; and comparison of the BIS equations (BIS1: creatinine-based; BIS2: creatinine- and cystatin C-based) with other estimating equations and determination of bias, precision, and accuracy in the validation sample.


The new BIS2 equation yielded the smallest bias followed by the creatinine-based BIS1 and Cockcroft-Gault equations. All other equations considerably overestimated GFR. The BIS equations confirmed a high prevalence of persons older than 70 years with a GFR less than 60 mL/min per 1.73 m2 (BIS1, 50.4%; BIS2, 47.4%; measured GFR, 47.9%). The total misclassification rate for this criterion was smallest for the BIS2 equation (11.6%), followed by the cystatin C equation 2 (15.1%) proposed by the Chronic Kidney Disease Epidemiology Collaboration. Among the creatinine-based equations, BIS1 had the smallest misclassification rate (17.2%), followed by the Chronic Kidney Disease Epidemiology Collaboration equation (20.4%).


There was no validation by an external data set.


The BIS2 equation should be used to estimate GFR in persons aged 70 years or older with normal or mild to moderately reduced kidney function. If cystatin C is not available, the BIS1 equation is an acceptable alternative.


Kuratorium für Dialyse und Nierentransplatation (KfH) Foundation of Preventive Medicine.

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