Educational review: measurement of GFR in special populations.
Pediatric Nephrology (Berlin, Germany)
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Changes in kidney function are typically followed by the sequential estimation of glomerular filtration rate (eGFR). Formulae for eGFR work well on a population basis, but there are well-known conditions where they do not work.
The purpose of this review is to summarize the existing literature on special populations in the pediatric age range and provide recommendations on how to estimate GFR in these populations.
The reliability of creatinine depends on muscle mass, while cystatin C (not widely available) is limited by inflammation and changes in protein catabolism. Various dietary factors can alter eGFR. Renal function in neonates changes drastically every day, and there are currently no satisfactory reference intervals for routine pediatric use. Gender effects and conditions such as wasting disease and obesity require alternative ways to obtain eGFR. In oncology patients, chemotherapy may negatively affect renal function, and nuclear GFR measurements may be necessary. For body builders, high muscle mass may lead to underestimation of eGFR using creatinine.
Conclusions and Relevance
Clinicians should be aware of special populations that may yield misleading eGFRs with conventional creatinine-based formulae, and that the alternative methods may be more appropriate for some populations.