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Monday, March 10, 2014
Details of eGFR
What exactly is eGFR? Can you tell what this statement means? Persistent reduction for 3 months or more in an eGFR<60 mL/min/1.73 m2 defines CKD. Patients eith eGFR values greater than or equal to 60 mL/min/1.73 m2 may also have CKD if evidence of persistent proteinuria is present. Additionally what is proteinuria?
eGFR, which stands for "estimated glomerular filtration rate," is a measure of the kidneys' filtering ability, or their ability to remove waste products from the body. The eGFR is based upon a person's age, gender, race, and blood creatinine (which is a waste product) level. "<60" means less than 60, and "mL/min/1.73 m2" is the measure of filtering ability with an adjustment for body surface area. So an eGFR that is persistently <60 when measured twice in a 3-month period generally indicates a moderate decrease in kidney function (although there is some debate about whether this is true in elderly people, since people's eGFR normally declines with age). If there is "proteinuria" (protein in the urine), there kidney disease may be present even with a higher eGFR (such as >60). Proteinuria is considered to be a sign of kidney damage, because it means that the kidneys are allowing protein to leak from the bloodstream into the urine and to be lost from the body.
For more information on eGFR, proteinuria, and kidney tests in general, see the link below -- and please feel free to write again if you have more questions!
Mildred Lam, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University