Update on Estimation of Kidney Function in Diabetic Kidney Disease

Curr Diab Rep. 2015 Sep;15(9):57. doi: 10.1007/s11892-015-0633-2.


The American Diabetes Association recommends annual assessment of glomerular filtration rate (GFR) to screen for diabetic nephropathy. GFR is measured indirectly using markers that, ideally, are eliminated only by glomerular filtration. Measured GFR, although the gold standard, remains cumbersome and expensive. GFR is therefore routinely estimated using creatinine and/or cystatin C and clinical variables. In pediatrics, the Schwartz creatinine-based equation is most frequently used even though combined creatinine and cystatin C-based equations demonstrate stronger agreement with measured GFR. In adults, the CKD Epidemiology Collaboration (CKD-EPI) equations with creatinine and/or cystatin C are the most accurate and precise estimating equations. Despite recent advances, current estimates of GFR lack precision and accuracy before chronic kidney disease stage 3 (GFR < 60 mL/min/1.73 m(2)). There is therefore an urgent need to improve the methods for estimating and measuring GFR. In this review, we examine the current literature and data addressing measurement and estimation of GFR in diabetes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Biomarkers / urine
  • Creatinine / blood
  • Cystatin C / blood
  • Diabetic Nephropathies / blood
  • Diabetic Nephropathies / physiopathology*
  • Diabetic Nephropathies / urine
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate
  • Humans
  • Kidney / chemistry
  • Kidney / physiopathology


  • Biomarkers
  • Cystatin C
  • Creatinine