Measurement and Estimation of Glomerular Filtration Rate in Children

Adv Chronic Kidney Dis. 2017 Nov;24(6):348-356. doi: 10.1053/j.ackd.2017.09.011.


Rapid, accurate, and precise measures of kidney function are essential for daily management of patients. While plasma and urinary clearances provide the greatest accuracy for assessing glomerular filtration rate (GFR), these are often impractical particularly for the care of children. Serum creatinine, the most commonly used endogenous marker, is simple, convenient, and practical but less accurate because of the influence of non-GFR determinants such as muscle mass, which increases with age in children. GFR estimating equations have been developed for adults and children to improve the accuracy of endogenous biomarkers, such as creatinine and cystatin C, by accounting for some of the non-GFR determinants, thus enhancing the practitioner's ability to assess GFR. In the steady state, when height is used as a surrogate for growth, there is a strong correlation between height/SCr and GFR. Current national guidelines recommend routine reporting of the estimated GFR alongside the serum creatinine value for adults using the Chronic Kidney Disease Epidemiology Collaboration creatinine-based formula and the updated Schwartz "bedside" formula (CKiD 2009) for children.

Keywords: Children; Creatinine; Cystatin C; Estimating equations; Glomerular filtration rate (GFR).

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Child
  • Creatinine / blood*
  • Cystatin C / blood*
  • Dimensional Measurement Accuracy
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate*
  • Humans
  • Kidney Function Tests / methods*
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic* / blood
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic* / diagnosis


  • Biomarkers
  • Cystatin C
  • Creatinine