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Ren Fail. 1998 Mar;20(2):303-9.

Is serum cystatin C a sensitive marker of glomerular filtration rate (GFR)? A preliminary study on renal transplant patients.

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Department of Laboratory Medicine, Central Laboratory, Azienda Ospedaliera, Padova, Italy.


Human cystatin C is a basic low molecular mass protein (13,359 Dalton) freely filtered through the glomerulus and almost completely re-absorbed and catabolized by proximal tubular cells. We measured serum cystatin C in 38 kidney transplant patients (23 males, 15 females) aged between 6 and 32 years. To assess renal function, serum and urinary creatinine were also determined in all patients, and creatinine clearance was finally calculated. Cystatin C was determined by a particle-enhanced turbidimetric assay, and creatinine was measured by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. To compare the diagnostic efficiency of cystatin C with that of creatinine, inulin clearance was performed on 12 renal transplant patients, and receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis was applied. The results of this study demonstrate that serum cystatin C significantly increases in renal transplant patients with reduced creatinine clearance (< 70 mL/min per 1.73 m2) and that the diagnostic accuracy of serum cystatin C is better than of serum creatinine. Cystatin C may be utilized as a very marker of reduced GFR.

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