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J Feline Med Surg. 2018 Dec;20(12):1144-1148. doi: 10.1177/1098612X18757591. Epub 2018 Feb 16.

Repeated measurements of renal function in evaluating its decline in cats.

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1 Bristol Renal, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK.
2 Department of Clinical Science and Services, Royal Veterinary College, Hawkshead Lane, Hatfield, UK.
3 Department of Comparative Biomedical Sciences, Royal College Street, London, UK.



The aim of this study was to describe the variability in renal function markers in non-azotaemic and azotaemic cats, and also the rate of change in the markers.


Plasma creatinine concentration and its reciprocal, glomerular filtration rate (GFR) and urine specific gravity (USG) were studied as markers of renal function in client-owned cats. GFR was determined using a corrected slope-intercept iohexol clearance method. Renal function testing was performed at baseline and a second time point. The within-population variability (coefficient of variation; CV%) was determined at the baseline time point. Within-individual variability (CV%) and rate of change over time were determined from the repeated measurements.


Twenty-nine cats were included in the study, of which five had azotaemic chronic kidney disease. The within-individual variability (CV%) in creatinine concentration was lower in azotaemic cats than in non-azotaemic cats (6.81% vs 8.82%), whereas the within-individual variability in GFR was higher in azotaemic cats (28.94% vs 19.98%). The within-population variability was greatest for USG (67.86% in azotaemic cats and 38.00% in non-azotaemic cats). There was a negative rate of change in creatinine concentration in azotaemic and non-azotaemic cats (-0.0265 and -0.0344 ┬Ámol/l/day, respectively) and a positive rate of change of GFR in azotaemic and non-azotaemic cats (0.0062 and 0.0028 ml/min/day, respectively).


The within-individual variability data suggest creatinine concentration to be the more useful marker for serial monitoring of renal function in azotaemic cats. In contrast, in non-azotaemic cats, GFR is a more useful marker for serial monitoring of renal function. The majority of cats with azotaemic CKD did not have an appreciable decline in renal function during the study.


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