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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

Improving the understanding, detection, and management of kidney disease.

Reporting GFR

Because chronic kidney disease (CKD) is poorly inferred from serum creatinine alone, NKDEP strongly encourages clinical laboratories to routinely estimate and report GFR when serum creatinine is measured for patients 18 and older, when appropriate and feasible. Routinely reporting eGFR with all serum creatinine determinations allows laboratories to help identify reduced kidney function for providers, thus facilitating the detection of CKD. Routine reporting is easier for some laboratories than it is for others. The following information will help laboratories appropriately report eGFR.

Common problems. Below are considerations for addressing common issues laboratories face when reporting eGFR:

Reporting Values ≥ 60mL/min/1.73m2. In general, NKDEP recommends reporting eGFR values greater than or equal to 60 mL/min/1.73 m2 simply as ≥ 60 mL/min/1.73 m2, and not as an exact number. For values below 60 mL/min/1.73 m2, the report should give the numerical estimate rounded to a whole number (e.g., "32 mL/min/1.73 m2").

There are three reasons for this recommendation:

A laboratory that reports eGFR numeric values > 60 mL/min/1.73 m2 should use the CKD-EPI equation, because the CKD-EPI equation is more accurate for values > 60 mL/min/1.73 m2 than is the MDRD Study equation. However, the influence of imprecision of creatinine assays on the uncertainty of an eGFR value is greater at higher eGFR values and should be considered when determining the highest eGFR value to report.

Sample eGFR Reports

The following sample eGFR reports were developed using the IDMS traceable MDRD Study equation:

Sample eGFR report for a 63-year-old woman

Sample eGFR report for a 63-year-old woman identified as African American

Sample eGFR report for a 62-year-old man

Sample eGFR report for a 55-year-old man

Note: If your printing system does not allow for superscripts, report the eGFR with mL/min/1.73 “square meters” or “m^2.” 

References

1. Myers GL, Miller WG, Coresh J, Fleming J, Greenberg N, Greene T, Hostetter T, Levey AS, Panteghini M, Welch M, Eckfeldt JH. Recommendations for improving serum creatinine measurement: a report from the laboratory working group of the National Kidney Disease Education Program. Clinical Chemistry. 2006;52:5–18.

2. Coresh J, Astor BC, McQuillan G, Kusek J, Greene T, Van Lente F, Levey AS. Calibration and random variation of the serum creatinine assay as critical elements of using equations to estimate glomerular filtration rate. American Journal of Kidney Disease. 2002;39(5):920–929.

3. Poggio ED, Wang X, Greene T, Van Lente F, Hall PM. Performance of the modification of diet in renal disease and Cockcroft-Gault equations in the estimation of GFR in health and in chronic kidney disease. Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. 2005;16(2):459–466.

4. Bostom AG, Kronenberg F, Ritz E. Predictive performance of renal function equations for patients with chronic kidney disease and normal serum creatinine levels. Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. 2002;13(8):2140–2144.

5. Vervoort G, Willems HL, Wetzels JF. Assessment of glomerular filtration rate in healthy subjects and normoalbuminuric diabetic patients: validity of a new (MDRD) prediction equation. Nephrology, Dialysis, Transplantation. 2002;17(11):1909–1913.

6. Stoves J, Lindley EJ, Barnfield MC, Burniston MT, Newstead CG. MDRD equation estimates of glomerular filtration rate in potential living kidney donors and renal transplant recipients with impaired graft function. Nephrology, Dialysis, Transplantation. 2002;17(11):2036–2037.

7. Lin J, Knight EL, Hogan ML, Singh AK. A comparison of prediction equations for estimating glomerular filtration rate in adults without kidney disease. Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. 2003;14(10):2573–2580.

8. Rule AD, Gussak HM, Pond GR, Bergstralh EJ, Stegall MD, Cosio FG, Larson TS. Measured and estimated GFR in healthy potential kidney donors. American Journal of Kidney Disease. 2004;43(1):112–119.

9. Hallan S, Asberg A, Lindberg M, Johnsen H. Validation of the Modification of Diet in Renal Disease formula for estimating GFR with special emphasis on calibration of the serum creatinine assay. American Journal of Kidney Disease. 2004;44(1):84–93.

10. Coresh J, Eknoyan G, Levey AS. Estimating the prevalence of low glomerular filtration rate requires attention to the creatinine assay calibration. Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. 2002;13(11):2811–2812.

Page last updated: April 25, 2015