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Kidney Diseases

Just discovered my GFR is low

11/06/2006

Question:

My husband`s routine annual bloodwork in August showed a serum creatinine value of 1.6 and a GFR of 50---in the absence of both high blood pressure and diabetes. His primary care doictor is completely baffled and has recommended he see a nephrologist. His appointment is pending.

I`m very worried so I called my doctor and asked what my latest creatinine value was (in April 2005). It was 1.0, which translates to a GFR of 63--which would suggest stage 2 kidney disease!

How could two non-diabetic people in the same household---both without high blood pressure and no apparent family history of kidney disease---suddenly show up with kidney disease?

If you hsve any thoughts about what could possibly be causing my husband`s bloodwork to suddenly indicate Stage 3 kidney disaese and my mine to indicate Stage 2, I would be very grateful. I don`t know our previous creatinine values.

We live in a heavily populated urban area with a substantial amount of air pollution. We are both asymptomatic except for typically having to urinate once in the middle of the night. I am 51; my husband is 47.

Answer:

Your husband has been appropriately referred to a nephrologist for further evaluation for what is a very abnormal serum creatinine. As for yourself: a GFR < 60cc/min is considered as "chronic kidney disease (CKD)". Since your GFR is 62cc/min it does not fit into a category of CKD unless you also have other evidence of kidney damage such as abnormal imaging studies or an abnormal urinalysis.

Your doctor will need to investigate further. I don't think air pollution can explain the GFR results.

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Response by:

Thomas   Zipp, MD Thomas Zipp, MD
Assistant Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University