By Dr. Jenna Henderson
Many kidney patients like to stay on top of their lab values, as these numbers reflect what is going on in their bodies. Understanding these lab values can often be tricky and it’s not always clear to the patient the ramifications of each number. This article is going to look at eGFR, estimated glomerular filtration rate, one of the most important values for any kidney patient.
The eGFR value will determine:
- What stage of kidney disease you’re in
- How you compare to others of your age
- Whether you are close to needing renal replacement therapy – dialysis or transplantation eGFR is an approximation of how much waste the kidney is capable of filtering per minute.
This is a number derived from the creatinine value (Scr) and your age. It must also be adjusted if you’re female or African American.
The formula for determining eGFR is:
Luckily for those of us who are not mathematically inclined, we can simply plug in our values to determine our eGFR.
For children, there is another formula, because height is a greater determinant than age:
Determine your child’s eGFR. (Note: these are conventional units used in the U.S. Outside of the U.S., the international system of units (SI) is used, but these units can be easily converted.)
While a lab value of 100 would be optimal, an eGFR over 60 is considered healthy. Many labs don’t actually give a number but might say >60 mL/min/1.7m^2, which would indicate that the kidney is filtering well. As creatinine often does not rise until late in the process of kidney disease, eGFR may be less able to detect kidney damage in an early stage.
To read the rest of the article, please visit the Renadyl website at https://blog.renadyl.com/dialysis/egfr-understanding-your-lab-values/