The practical implications of using standardized estimation equations in calculating the prevalence of chronic kidney disease

Michael P Quinn, Andrea Rainey, Karen J Cairns, Adele H Marshall, Gerard Savage, Frank Kee, A Peter Maxwell, Elizabeth Reaney, Damian G Fogarty
Nephrology, Dialysis, Transplantation 2008, 23 (2): 542-8

BACKGROUND: Kidney Disease Outcomes Quality Initiative (KDOQI) chronic kidney disease (CKD) guidelines have focused on the utility of using the modified four-variable MDRD equation (now traceable by isotope dilution mass spectrometry IDMS) in calculating estimated glomerular filtration rates (eGFRs). This study assesses the practical implications of eGFR correction equations on the range of creatinine assays currently used in the UK and further investigates the effect of these equations on the calculated prevalence of CKD in one UK region

METHODS: Using simulation, a range of creatinine data (30-300 micromol/l) was generated for male and female patients aged 20-100 years. The maximum differences between the IDMS and MDRD equations for all 14 UK laboratory techniques for serum creatinine measurement were explored with an average of individual eGFRs calculated according to MDRD and IDMS < 60 ml/min/1.73 m(2) and 30 ml/min/1.73 m(2). Similar procedures were applied to 712,540 samples from patients > or = 18 years (reflecting the five methods for serum creatinine measurement utilized in Northern Ireland) to explore, graphically, maximum differences in assays. CKD prevalence using both estimation equations was compared using an existing cohort of observed data.

RESULTS: Simulated data indicates that the majority of laboratories in the UK have small differences between the IDMS and MDRD methods of eGFR measurement for stages 4 and 5 CKD (where the averaged maximum difference for all laboratory methods was 1.27 ml/min/1.73 m(2) for females and 1.59 ml/min/1.73 m(2) for males). MDRD deviated furthest from the IDMS results for the Endpoint Jaffe method: the maximum difference of 9.93 ml/min/1.73 m(2) for females and 5.42 ml/min/1.73 m(2) for males occurred at extreme ages and in those with eGFR > 30 ml/min/1.73 m(2). Observed data for 93,870 patients yielded a first MDRD eGFR < 60 ml/min/1.73 m(2) in 2001. 66,429 (71%) had a second test > 3 months later of which 47,093 (71%) continued to have an eGFR < 60 ml/min/1.73 m(2). Estimated crude prevalence was 3.97% for laboratory detected CKD in adults using the MDRD equation which fell to 3.69% when applying the IDMS equation. Over 95% of this difference in prevalence was explained by older females with stage 3 CKD (eGFR 30-59 ml/min/1.73 m(2)) close to the stage 2 CKD (eGFR 60-90 ml/min/1.73 m(2)) interface.

CONCLUSIONS: Improved accuracy of eGFR is obtainable by using IDMS correction especially in the earlier stages of CKD 1-3. Our data indicates that this improved accuracy could lead to reduced prevalence estimates and potentially a decreased likelihood of onward referral to nephrology services particularly in older females.

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