Do you what GFR is?
How is GFR used to measure kidney disease severity?

GFR stands for Glomerular Filtration Rate. GFR is an important measure of kidney function. The purpose of the kidneys is to filter and help remove excess waste products and water from the blood. The glomeruli are the filtering elements inside the kidney. Glomeruli are tiny organelles that contain tightly wrapped blood vessels called capillaries. These capillaries filter blood of waste products as the blood passes through the glomeruli.


Diseased kidneys have fewer functioning glomeruli. In some kidney diseases, the kidneys become scarred and shrunken and therefore there are fewer working filtering glomeruli.


GFR is measured by a formula, which requires knowing several key pieces of data. Some of this data includes the patient's age, race, gender and blood (serum) creatinine level.


Creatinine is a breakdown product of muscle. Patients with higher muscle mass (men, African Americans) can be expected to have a higher normal serum creatinine level.

Low GFR indicates a decreased ability of the kidneys to clear the blood of waste products. Kidney disease is classified by Stages 1 to 5, with 5 meaning very low GFR often requiring dialysis treatments.


Here is a link to one online GFR calculator. Author Interview: Dr Hassib Chehade

Comparison of the glomerular filtration rate in children by the new revised Schwartz formula and a new generalized formula

Anja Gao, Francois Cachat, Mohamed Faouzi, Daniel Bardy, Dolores Mosig, Blaise-Julien Meyrat, Eric Girardin and Hassib Chehade

Kidney Int advance online publication, December 19, 2012; doi:10.1038/ki.2012.388 Author Interview: Dr. Liang Li, PhD

[SA-PO243] Time-to-Dialysis when Estimated GFR (eGFR) Drops below 15 ml/min/1.73m2: Results from the African American Study of Kidney Disease (AASK) Study

 Authors: Liang Li, PhD, Lawrence J. Appel, MD, Brad C. Astor, PhD, Michael S. Lipkowitz, MD, Jackson T. Wright, MD, PhD, Tom Greene, PhD

 Date/Time: Saturday, November 3, 2012 - 

 Course: Annual Meeting: Abstract Sessions

 Session Info: CKD: Epidemiology, Outcomes - IV Author Interview:

Sebastjan Bevc, Radovan Hojs, Robert Ekart,
Clinic of Internal Medicine, Dept. of Nephrology University Medical center Maribor, Maribor, Slovenia

Simple Cystatin C Formula Compared to Serum Creatinine-Based Formulas for Estimation of Glomerular Filtration Rate in Patients with Mildly to Moderately Impaired Kidney Function.

Bevc S, Hojs R, Ekart R, Gorenjak M, Puklavec L.
Department of Nephrology, Clinic of Internal Medicine, Maribor, Slovenia.
Kidney Blood Press Res. 2012 Oct 19;35(6):649-654. [Epub ahead of print] Authors' Interview:

Dr. Tanvir Chowdhury Turin
Dr. Brenda R Hemmelgarn

[SA-PO192] Association between Variability in eGFR and Mortality

Tanvir Chowdhury Turin, MBBS, Min Jun, PhD, Marcello Tonelli, MD, Braden J. Manns, MD, Hiddo Jan Lambers Heerspink, PhD, Vlado Perkovic, MBBS, FASN, Brenda Hemmelgarn, MD, PhD. University of Calgary, Canada; University of Sydney, Australia; University of Alberta, Canada; University of Groningen, Netherlands. Author Interview: Eiji Oda M.D.

Hypobilirubinemia Might be a Possible Risk Factor of End-Stage Kidney Disease Independently of Estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate.
Oda E, Aoyagi R, Aizawa Y:
Kidney Blood Press Res 2012;36:47-54 (DOI: 10.1159/000339027) Author Interview: Elke S. Schaeffner, MD, MS

Two Novel Equations to Estimate Kidney Function in Persons Aged 70 Years or Older

Elke S. Schaeffner, MD, MS*; Natalie Ebert, MD, MPH*; Pierre Delanaye, MD, PhD; Ulrich Frei, MD; Jens Gaedeke, MD; Olga Jakob; Martin K. Kuhlmann, MD; Mirjam Schuchardt, PhD; Markus Tölle, MD; Reinhard Ziebig, PhD; Markus van der Giet, MD; and Peter Martus, PhD

Ann Intern Med. 2 October 2012;157(7):471-481 Author Interview: Masaru Horio MD.

GFR Estimation Using Standardized Serum Cystatin C in Japan.

Horio M, Imai E, Yasuda Y, Watanabe T, Matsuo S;
Collaborators Developing the Japanese Equation for Estimated GFR.
Department of Functional Diagnostic Science, Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka, Japan.
Am J Kidney Dis. 2012 Aug 11. [Epub ahead of print] Author Interview: Joshua Lewis

Estimated glomerular filtration rate as an independent predictor of atherosclerotic vascular disease in older women. BMC Nephrol 13: 58.

R Lewis JR, Lim W, Dhaliwal SS, Zhu K, Lim EM, et al. (2012)


Comparing the association of GFR estimated by the CKD-EPI and MDRD study equations and mortality: the third national health and nutrition examination survey (NHANES III) examination survey (NHANES III).
Shafi T, Matsushita K, Selvin E, Sang Y, Astor BC, Inker LA, Coresh J
BMC Nephrol. 2012 Jun 15;13(1):42. [Epub ahead of print]

Author Interview:  
Professor Josef Coresh, MD, PhD, MHS and Shoshana Ballew, PhD

Comparison of Risk Prediction Using the CKD-EPI Equation and the MDRD Study Equation for Estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate

Kunihiro Matsushita, Bakhtawar K. Mahmoodi, Mark Woodward, Jonathan R. Emberson, Tazeen H. Jafar, Sun Ha Jee, Kevan R. Polkinghorne, Anoop Shankar, David H. Smith, Marcello Tonelli, David G. Warnock, Chi-Pang Wen, Josef Coresh, Ron T. Gansevoort, Brenda R. Hemmelgarn, Andrew S. Levey for the Chronic Kidney Disease Prognosis Consortium

Authors' Interview: Drs. Anna Kottgen MD, MPH and Oemer-Necmi Goek, MD, MPH

Serum Metabolite Concentrations and Decreased GFR in the General Population

Oemer-Necmi Goek, Angela Döring, Christian Gieger, Margit Heier, Wolfgang Koenig, Cornelia Prehn, Werner Römisch-Margl, Rui Wang-Sattler, Thomas Illig, Karsten Suhre, Peggy Sekula, Guangju Zhai, Jerzy Adamski, Anna Köttgen, Christa Meisinger 

American Journal of Kidney Diseases - 01 April 2012 (10.1053/j.ajkd.2012.01.014)

Author Interview: Alberto Pilotto, MD

Addition of the multidimensional prognostic index to the estimated glomerular filtration rate improves prediction of long-term all-cause mortality in older patients with chronic kidney disease.

Alberto Pilotto, Daniele Sancarlo, Filippo Aucella, Andrea Fontana, Filomena Addante, Massimiliano Copetti, Francesco Panza, Giovanni F.M. Strippoli, and Luigi Ferrucci. Rejuvenation Research.
February 2012, 15(1): 82-88. doi:10.1089/rej.2011.1210.

Author Interview: Michel Chonchol, MD

Predictors of Estimated GFR Decline in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes and Preserved Kidney Function

Giacomo Zoppini, Giovanni Targher, Michel Chonchol, Vittorio Ortalda, Carlo Negri,Vincenzo Stoico, and Enzo Bonora
CJASN CJN.07650711; published ahead of print January 26, 2012,doi:10.2215/CJN.07650711

GFR - Glomerular Filtration Rate and Kidney Disease Studies Updated December 24 2012

Author Interview: Krista Dybtved Kjaergaard, MD, PhD

Reliability of 51Cr-EDTA plasma and urinary clearance as a measure of residual renal function in dialysis patients

Krista D. Kjaergaard, Jens D. Jensen, Bente Jespersen, and Michael Rehling
(doi: 10.3109/00365513.2011.619565)
Scandinavian Journal of Clinical & Laboratory Investigation, December 2011, Vol. 71, No. 8 : Pages 663-669 Author Interview: Chi-yuan Hsu, MD, MSc

Measured GFR Does Not Outperform Estimated GFR in Predicting CKD-related Complications

Chi-yuan Hsu, Kathleen Propert, Dawei Xie, Lee Hamm, Jiang He, Edgar Miller, Akinlolu Ojo, Michael Shlipak, Valerie Teal, Raymond Townsend, Matthew Weir, Jillian Wilson, Harold Feldman, and for the CRIC Investigators
JASN Sep 15, 2011 ASN.2010101077; published ahead of print September 15, 2011, doi:10.1681/ASN.2010101077 

Author Interview: Yung-Ming Chen, M.D.
Outcomes following Dialysis for Acute Kidney Injury among Different Stages of Chronic Kidney Disease

Lee PH, Wu VC, Hu FC, Lai CF, Chen YM, Tsai TJ, Wu KD.
Am J Nephrol. 2011 Jun 17;34(2):95-103.

Renal Division, Department of Internal Medicine, National Taiwan University Hospital,
College of Medicine, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan, ROC

Author Interview: Dr Sunny Eloot et al
Estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate Is a Poor Predictor of Concentration for a Broad Range of Uremic Toxins
Eloot S, Schepers E, Barreto DV, Barreto FC, Liabeuf S, Van Biesen W, Verbeke F, Glorieux G, Choukroun G, Massy Z, Vanholder R.
Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. 2011 May 26.
Author Interview: Joaquin Antonio Alvarez Gregori MD, PhD
The Value of a Formula Including Haematocrit, Blood Urea and Gender (HUGE) as a Screening Test for Chronic Renal Insufficiency.

Alvarez-Gregori JA, Robles NR, Mena C, Ardanuy R, Jauregui R, Macías-Nu Ntilde Ez JF.
M. Nuñez, Titular Professor of Medicine. Director, Chair FIIPERVA of Vascular Risk Factors, Geriatrics. Chief Clinician of Nephrology. University Hospital. Faculty of Medicine. Avda. Alfonso X el Sabio s/n, Salamanca 37007, Spain.
J Nutr Health Aging. 2011;15(6):480-4.
Nephrology visits and health care resource use before and after reporting estimated glomerular filtration rate.
JAMA. 2010 Mar 24;303(12):1151-8.
Hemmelgarn BR, et al Alberta Kidney Disease Network.
Functional renal reserve capacity in different stages of chronic kidney disease.
Nephrology (Carlton). 2010 Apr;15(3):350-3.
Barai S, Gambhir S, Prasad N, Sharma RK, Ora M.



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