Glomerular filtration rate

What Is Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR)

Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR) is a measure of the rate at which blood is filtered through the glomeruli in your kidneys. The kidneys contain tiny blood vessels (glomeruli) which filter the blood. Glomerular Filtration Rate reflects the amount of kidney function is present. It measures the amount of creatinine filtered out of the blood by your kidneys every minute. If the rate is decreased, it indicates that the kidneys are not functioning as well as they should.

Preparation For GFR Testing

No special preparation is necessary for testing GFR. However, it is important to inform your doctor of any medications you are taking and any recent surgeries or conditions you have experienced.

Procedure For GFR Testing

GFR is measured by taking a blood sample and measuring the amount of creatinine in the sample. A creatinine clearance rate is then calculated to determine the rate at which creatinine is being removed from the blood. The higher the creatinine clearance rate, the better the kidney function.

Types Of GFR Tests

There are two main types of GFR tests:

  • Creatinine clearance test – This test is used to measure the rate at which creatinine is removed from the blood.
  • Cystatin C test – This test is used to measure the rate at which a protein called cystatin C is removed from the blood. It can be used in people with kidney impairment to provide a more accurate measurement of GFR than the creatinine clearance test.

Risks Of GFR Testing

The risks associated with GFR testing are minimal. The blood test poses a slight risk of infection, and there is a slight possibility of side effects from the medications used to perform the test.

Why Is GFR Testing Done?

GFR tests are used to measure how well your kidneys are functioning. It can help diagnose and monitor kidney disease and other conditions that affect kidney function, such as diabetes. GFR tests are also used to monitor patients who are taking medications that can potentially harm the kidneys.

When Is GFR Testing Done?

GFR testing is typically done when there is a suspicion of kidney disease or when kidney function is being monitored in patients with chronic diseases such as diabetes. It may also be done periodically in healthy people to detect abnormalities in kidney function before they become symptomatic, or when a person is taking medications known to be nephrotoxic (damaging to the kidneys).