Beta-trace protein, cystatin C, beta(2)-microglobulin, and creatinine compared for detecting impaired glomerular filtration rates in children

Guido Filler, Friedrich Priem, Nathalie Lepage, Pranav Sinha, Ilka Vollmer, Heather Clark, Erin Keely, Mary Matzinger, Ayub Akbari, Harald Althaus, Klaus Jung
Clinical Chemistry 2002, 48 (5): 729-36

BACKGROUND: Because of the limitations of serum creatinine as a marker of glomerular filtration rate (GFR) in children, we assessed the diagnostic accuracy of the novel marker beta-trace protein (BTP) in comparison with cystatin C (Cys-C), beta(2)-microglobulin (beta(2)-MG), and creatinine as conventional indicators of reduced GFR.

METHODS: We obtained serum samples from 225 children (age range, 0.2-18 years) with various renal pathologies who were referred for nuclear medicine clearance investigations (technetium-diethylenetriamine pentaacetic acid or chromium-EDTA). We measured Cys-C, BTP (nephelometric tests; Dade Behring), beta(2)-MG (Tinaquant; Roche), and creatinine (enzymatic assay; Creatinine-PAP; Roche).

RESULTS: Seventy-five children had reduced GFR (<90 mL x min(-1) x 1.73 m(-2)). One hundred fifty children (independent of gender and age) with values >90 mL x min(-1) x 1.73 m(-2) comprised the control group with gaussian distributions of BTP and Cys-C concentrations. The upper reference limits (97.5 percentile) were 1.01 mg/L for BTP and 1.20 mg/L for Cys-C. The correlations of nuclear medicine clearance with the reciprocals of BTP, Cys-C, and the Schwartz GFR estimate were significantly higher (r = 0.653, 0.765, and 0.706, respectively; P <0.05) than with the reciprocal of creatinine or beta(2)-MG (r = 0.500 and 0.557, respectively). ROC analysis showed a significantly higher diagnostic accuracy of BTP, Cys-C, and the GFR estimate for the detection of impaired GFR than serum creatinine (P <0.05). Compared to creatinine, BTP increased the diagnostic sensitivity by approximately 30%, but it was not more sensitive than Cys-C or the Schwartz GFR estimate.

CONCLUSIONS: BTP is superior to serum creatinine and an alternative for Cys-C to detect mildly reduced GFR in children, but it is not better than the Schwartz GFR estimate.

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