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Thursday, December 5, 2013
When was serum creatinine introduced as a measure of kidney function?
Good question. A Google search reveals:
"The juice of flesh contains a crystallizable substance, which was in 1835 discovered by Chevreul in beef-tea of the Dutch Company, and by him termed creatine. Creatine and creatinine (in the form of chloride of zinc salt) were subsequently, in 1814, found in the urine contemporaneously by Ileintz and Pettenkofer, but their identity with the crystallizable substance of the juice of flesh was not then recognized. In 1847 creatine and creatinine were demonstrated by Liebig to be constant ingredients of the juices of the flesh of almost all the classes of vertebrate animals and of the urine of man. Verdcil and Marcet found creatine in the blood of the ox."
Creatinine is a breakdown product of creatine. In the 1920's it was observed that it is excreted in constant amounts daily by normal people. Sometime in the early 30's it started being used as a measure of kidney function (by means of both measurement of blood creatinine levels, and urine creatinine excretion).
Hope this answers your question!
Mildred Lam, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University