Introduction: Parameters allowing regular evaluation of renal function in a paediatric intensive care unit (PICU) are not optimal. The aim of the present study was to analyse the utility of serum cystatin C and beta2-microglobulin (B2M) in detecting decreased glomerular filtration rate in critically ill children.
Methods: This was a prospective, observational study set in an eight-bed PICU. Twenty-five children were included. The inverses of serum creatinine, cystatin C, and B2M were correlated with creatinine clearance (CrC) using a 24-hour urine sample and CrC estimation by Schwartz formula (Schwartz). The diagnostic value of serum creatinine, cystatin C, and B2M to identify a glomerular filtration rate under 80 ml/minute per 1.73 m(2) was evaluated using receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis.
Results: Mean age was 2.9 years (range, 0.1 to 13.9 years). CrC was less than 80 ml/minute per 1.73 m(2) in 14 children, and Schwartz was less than 80 ml/minute per 1.73 m(2) in 9 children. Correlations between inverse of B2M and CrC (r = 0.477) and between inverse of B2M and Schwartz (r = 0.697) were better than correlations between inverse of cystatin C and CrC (r = 0.390) or Schwartz (r = 0.586) and better than correlations between inverse of creatinine and CrC (r = 0.104) or Schwartz (r = 0.442). The ability of serum cystatin C and B2M to identify a CrC rate and a Schwartz CrC rate under 80 ml/minute per 1.73 m(2) was better than that of creatinine (areas under the ROC curve: 0.851 and 0.792 for cystatin C, 0.802 and 0.799 for B2M, and 0.633 and 0.625 for creatinine).
Conclusion: Serum cystatin C and B2M were confirmed as easy and useful markers, better than serum creatinine, to detect acute kidney injury in critically ill children.