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Clin Nephrol. 1998 Dec;50(6):342-6.

Glomerular filtration rate measurement in cirrhotic patients with renal failure.

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  • 1Nephrology Unit, Research Center, hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal, Quebec, Canada.


Assessment of renal function, namely glomerular filtration rate (GFR), by the renal creatinine clearance, may be problematic and less accurate in cirrhotics; however, it is an essential element in the global evaluation of these patients. In order to better characterize misinterpretation of GFR by the renal creatinine clearance, we compared a group of cirrhotic patients with renal failure (n - 30) to a group of chronic renal failure patients (CRF) without liver disease (n - 5). Inulin and PAH clearances were measured during a 4-hour infusion of inulin and PAH; renal creatinine clearance was measured during a 24-hour urine collection and this, simultaneously with inulin and PAH clearance. We observed that in moderate to severe renal failure (renal inulin clearance 30 +/- 10 ml/min), GFR (i. e. renal inulin clearance) in cirrhotic patients was overestimated by the renal creatinine clearance, similarly to CRF patients (ratio 1.8 +/- 0.7 and 1.6 +/- 0.9 respectively); however cirrhotic patients have a lower serum creatinine (186 +/- 97 vs 133 +/- 62 micromol/l respectively). On the other hand, cirrhotic patients with mild renal dysfunction (renal inulin clearance 74 +/- 15 ml/min) had a renal creatinine clearance of 77 +/- 25 ml/min. Systemic inulin clearance overestimated renal inulin clearance, proportionally to the severity of renal dysfunction. We conclude that it is only the degree of renal failure, irrespective of etiology, that explains the overestimation of the glomerular filtration rate by the renal creatinine clearance in cirrhotic patients; hence, there is no specific alteration in the renal excretion of creatinine in cirrhotic patients.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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