Estimation of glomerular filtration rate in anorectic adolescents

Pediatr Nephrol. 1989 Jan;3(1):16-21. doi: 10.1007/BF00859618.


Severe malnutrition has been associated with a decrease in fat and lean body mass, as well as in renal function. This study was designed to evaluate the estimation of glomerular filtration rate (GFR, ml/min per 1.73 m2) in malnourished teenagers, by using the formula GFR = kL/Pcr (where L is body height, Pcr is plasma creatinine concentration and k is a proportionality constant relating muscle mass to body size that has been found to equal 0.7 in adolescent boys and 0.55 in girls). Body composition was estimated using anthropometric measurements and urinary creatinine excretion (UcrV). Malnourished female patients showed depletion of fat and muscle, whereas males had primarily decreased muscle mass. There was a good correlation (r = 0.74) between anthropometric [arm muscle volume (AMV)] and chemical UcrV estimates of muscle mass. However, our previously validated estimate of GFR did not give reliable results in this group of malnourished teenagers, probably because their muscle mass was so greatly altered by the severity of malnutrition. Therefore, we used anthropometric measurements and Pcr, to estimate GFR by multiple linear regression. The best prediction was obtained by using AMV/Pcr and the observed/expected (for age, height and sex) weight ratio (WR): GFR (ml/min) = 0.06 AMV/Pcr + 131 WR - 79, r = 0.82, n = 13. We confirm that malnutrition in adolescents is associated with decreased GFR and conclude that the resulting variability in body composition limits the possibility of estimating GFR from Pcr and height.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anorexia Nervosa / pathology
  • Anorexia Nervosa / physiopathology*
  • Creatinine / urine
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscles / pathology
  • Nutrition Disorders / physiopathology


  • Creatinine