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Impact of CT-determined low kidney volume on renal function decline: a propensity score-matched analysis.

OBJECTIVES: To investigate the relationship between low kidney volume and subsequent estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) decline in eGFR category G2 (60-89 mL/min/1.73 m2 ) population.

METHODS: In this retrospective study, we evaluated 5531 individuals with eGFR category G2 who underwent medical checkups at our institution between November 2006 and October 2017. Exclusion criteria were absent for follow-up visit, missing data, prior renal surgery, current renal disease under treatment, large renal masses, and horseshoe kidney. We developed a 3D U-net-based automated system for renal volumetry on CT images. Participants were grouped by sex-specific kidney volume deviations set at mean minus one standard deviation. After 1:1 propensity score matching, we obtained 397 pairs of individuals in the low kidney volume (LKV) and control groups. The primary endpoint was progression of eGFR categories within 5 years, assessed using Cox regression analysis.

RESULTS: This study included 3220 individuals (mean age, 60.0 ± 9.7 years; men, n = 2209). The kidney volume was 404.6 ± 67.1 and 376.8 ± 68.0 cm3 in men and women, respectively. The low kidney volume (LKV) cutoff was 337.5 and 308.8 cm3 for men and women, respectively. LKV was a significant risk factor for the endpoint with an adjusted hazard ratio of 1.64 (95% confidence interval: 1.09-2.45; p = 0.02).

CONCLUSION: Low kidney volume may adversely affect subsequent eGFR maintenance; hence, the use of imaging metrics may help predict eGFR decline.

CRITICAL RELEVANCE STATEMENT: Low kidney volume is a significant predictor of reduced kidney function over time; thus, kidney volume measurements could aid in early identification of individuals at risk for declining kidney health.

KEY POINTS: • This study explores how kidney volume affects subsequent kidney function maintenance. • Low kidney volume was associated with estimated glomerular filtration rate decreases. • Low kidney volume is a prognostic indicator of estimated glomerular filtration rate decline.

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