Background: Serum creatinine concentration is widely used as an index of renal function, but this concentration is affected by factors other than glomerular filtration rate (GFR).
Objective: To develop an equation to predict GFR from serum creatinine concentration and other factors.
Design: Cross-sectional study of GFR, creatinine clearance, serum creatinine concentration, and demographic and clinical characteristics in patients with chronic renal disease.
Patients: 1628 patients enrolled in the baseline period of the Modification of Diet in Renal Disease (MDRD) Study, of whom 1070 were randomly selected as the training sample; the remaining 558 patients constituted the validation sample.
Methods: The prediction equation was developed by stepwise regression applied to the training sample. The equation was then tested and compared with other prediction equations in the validation sample.
Results: To simplify prediction of GFR, the equation included only demographic and serum variables. Independent factors associated with a lower GFR included a higher serum creatinine concentration, older age, female sex, nonblack ethnicity, higher serum urea nitrogen levels, and lower serum albumin levels (P < 0.001 for all factors). The multiple regression model explained 90.3% of the variance in the logarithm of GFR in the validation sample. Measured creatinine clearance overestimated GFR by 19%, and creatinine clearance predicted by the Cockcroft-Gault formula overestimated GFR by 16%. After adjustment for this overestimation, the percentage of variance of the logarithm of GFR predicted by measured creatinine clearance or the Cockcroft-Gault formula was 86.6% and 84.2%, respectively.
Conclusion: The equation developed from the MDRD Study provided a more accurate estimate of GFR in our study group than measured creatinine clearance or other commonly used equations.
*For members of the Modification of Diet in Renal Disease Study Group, see N Engl J Med. 1994; 330:877-84.