JOURNAL ARTICLE

Diagnostic value of serum cystatin C for evaluation of hepatorenal syndrome

S Demirtaş, A Bozbaş, A Akbay, Y Yavuz, L Karaca
Clinica Chimica Acta; International Journal of Clinical Chemistry 2001 September 25, 311 (2): 81-9
11566167

BACKGROUND: The evaluation of renal function in patients with decompensated cirrhosis is important for prognosis, dosage assessment of potentially nephrotoxic drugs and recognition of changes in glomerular filtration rate (GFR) to decide paracentesis and diuretic therapy. Patients with many different disorders of hepatic function can present with various abnormalities of renal function in the absence of other known causes of renal failure which has been called hepatorenal syndrome (HRS). Some reports have pointed out that serum creatinine levels frequently failed to rise above normal levels even when glomerular filtration rate (GFR) is very low in cirrhotic patients with hepatorenal syndrome. The aim of this study was to determine if estimation of serum cystatin C could replace creatinine clearance in routine GFR determinations for patients with cirrhosis.

METHODS: Serum cystatin C, creatinine clearance (Clcr), and 99mTc-DTPA clearance were determined in 26 patients with cirrhosis. According to Child-Pugh's classification, 21 patients were in group C and 5 were in Group B.

RESULTS: Pearson correlation analyses showed that correlation between serum cystatin C and 99mTc-DTPA clearance was r=-0.522, p=0.006, between serum creatinine and 99mTc-DTPA was r=-0.373, p=0.06. The results of our study demonstrated that neither serum creatinine nor creatinine clearance (Clcr) were good indicators of hepatorenal syndrome because the mean value for Clcr was found to be higher than Tc-DTPA clearance, and there was no correlation between these two parameters (r=0.059). Additionally, the mean value of serum creatinine was found to be within the normal range, whereas the mean DTPA clearance level was lower than normal range.

CONCLUSIONS: This finding could be explained by the fact that cirrhotic patients with poor nutrition may have decreased protein intake, low muscle mass and lack of converting capacity of creatine to creatinine. Thus, we suggest that serum cystatin C assay, which has good analytical performance, could replace or at least be added to creatinine measurement for GFR assessment in patients with cirrhosis.

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