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Use of Cystatin C to Assess Kidney Function


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August 2011

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a worldwide public health problem. There is a rising incidence and prevalence of kidney failure in the United States and early diagnosis is key. Early stages of kidney disease can be detected through laboratory testing. Accurate estimation of glomerular filtration rate (GFR) is essential for the diagnosis, staging, and management of CKD. A new immunoassay for determination of cystasin C has made it more practical and clinically useful to estimate GFR. A formula that uses both serum creatinine and cystatin C with age, sex, and race may be better than equations that use only 1 of these serum markers and may provide the best estimation of GFR and early kidney disease. Cystatin C may also be useful for detecting those patients with CKD who are at highest risk of complications and progression.


  • John C. Lieske, MD of the Division of Clinical Core Laboratory Services. Dr. Lieske is Medical Director of the Mayo Clinic Renal Testing Laboratory in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology and Consultant in the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension.¬†

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