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Am J Kidney Dis. 1996 Apr;27(4):504-11.

Accurate measurement of impaired glomerular filtration using single-dose oral cimetidine.

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  • 1Division of Nephrology, St Michael's Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


To improve the validity of a timed creatinine clearance as a measure of glomerular filtration rate (GFR), we investigated whether a single 800-mg dose of oral cimetidine was sufficient to inhibit tubular secretion of creatinine (TScr). Forty-five 3-hour timed creatinine clearances (Clcr) with single 800-mg dose oral cimetidine (TCC) in 17 renal transplant recipients with marked renal function impairment (creatinine 2.0 to 7.1 mg/dL) were compared with simultaneous [125I]-iothalamate GFR (Cliothal). For comparison, 13 timed Clcr without cimetidine (TC), and 36 24-hour Clcr were performed. The TCC was the most accurate: the ratio (mean +/- SD) of TCC:Cliothal was 1.12 +/- 0.02, compared with 1.33 +/- 0.08 for Clcr:Cliothal and 1.53 +/- 1.02 for TC:Cliothal. The difference between Cliothal and TCC was small over the range of GFRs tested (mean +/- 2 SD), 0.9 +/- 2.5 mL/min/1.73 m2. The intraclass correlation (R) for within-subject reproducibility of the TCC in five subjects was 0.8 (95 percent CI; 0.5, 0.9), and in 11 subjects who had at least three GFR determinations over 24 weeks, the TCC was as responsive to change in GFR as Cliothal. There was an inverse relationship between fractional excretion of cimetidine and GFR (r2 = -0.70), suggesting increased tubular secretion of cimetidine with decreasing GFR. In conclusion, a single 800-mg oral dose of cimetidine was effective in inhibiting TScr such that the TCC was an accurate, reproducible, and responsive test of GFR.

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