A Novel Analysis Technique for Transcutaneous Measurement of Glomerular Filtration Rate With Ultralow Dose Marker Concentrations

IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. 2016 Aug;63(8):1742-50. doi: 10.1109/TBME.2015.2501544. Epub 2015 Nov 18.


Objective: A novel high-precision approach [lifetime-decomposition measurement (LTDM)] for the assessment of the glomerular filtration rate (GFR) based on clearance measurements of exogenous filtration marker.

Methods: The time-correlated single photon counting (TCSPC) acquisition in combination with a new decomposition method allows the separation of signal and background from transcutaneous measurements of GFR.

Results: The performance of LTDM is compared versus the commercially available NIC-kidney patch-based system for transcutaneous GFR measurement. Measurements are performed in awake Sprague Dawley (SD) rats. Using the standard concentration required for the NIC-kidney system [7-mg/100-g body weight (b.w.) FITC-Sinistrin] as reference, the mean difference (bias) of the elimination curves GFR between LTDM and NIC-kidney was 4.8%. On the same animal and same day, the capability of LTDM to measure GFR with a FITC-Sinistrin dose reduced by a factor of 200 (35-μg/100-g b.w.) was tested as well. The mean differences (half lives with low dose using LTDM compared with those using first, the NIC-Kidney system and its standard concentration, and second, LTDM with the same concentration as for the NIC-Kidney system) were 3.4% and 4.5%, respectively.

Conclusion: We demonstrate that with the LTDM strategy substantial reductions in marker concentrations are possible at the same level of accuracy.

Significance: LTDM aims to resolve the issue of the currently necessary large doses of fluorescence tracer required for transcutaneous GFR measurement. Due to substantially less influences from autofluorescence and artifacts, the proposed method outperforms other existing techniques for accurate percutaneous organ function measurement.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Animals
  • Biomarkers / analysis
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Fluoresceins / analysis
  • Fluoresceins / metabolism
  • Fluorescent Dyes / analysis
  • Fluorescent Dyes / metabolism
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate / physiology*
  • Kidney / physiology*
  • Kidney Function Tests / methods*
  • Male
  • Oligosaccharides / analysis
  • Oligosaccharides / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • Biomarkers
  • Fluoresceins
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Oligosaccharides
  • fluorescein-isothiocyanate sinistrin