BACKGROUND & AIMS:
Accurate evaluation of renal function in patients with liver cirrhosis is critical for clinical management. However, there are still discrepancies between the measured glomerular filtration rate (mGFR) and creatinine-based estimated GFR (eGFR). In this study, we compared the performance of 2 common eGFR measurements with mGFR and evaluated the impact of low muscle mass on overestimation of renal function in patients with cirrhosis.
This study included 779 consecutive cirrhotic patients who underwent 51Cr-ethylenediamine tetra acetic acid (EDTA) (as a mGFR) and abdominal computed tomography (CT). The eGFR was calculated using creatinine or cystatin C. Muscle mass was assessed in terms of the total skeletal muscle at L3 level using CT.
Modification of diet in renal disease (MDRD)-eGFR was overestimated in 47% of patients. A multivariate analysis showed that female sex (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 4.91), Child B and C vs. A (aOR 1.69 and 1.84) and skeletal muscle mass (aOR 0.89) were independent risk factors associated with overestimation. Interestingly, the effect of skeletal muscle mass on overestimation varied based on sex. Decreased muscle mass significantly enhanced the risk of overestimation of MDRD-eGFR in male patients, but not in female patients. Cystatin C-based eGFR showed a better correlation with mGFR than MDRD-eGFR; it was also better at predicting overall survival and the incidence of acute kidney injury than MDRD-eGFR.
The risk factors associated with overestimation included female sex, impaired liver function, and decreased muscle mass in males. In particular, eGFR in male patients with sarcopenia should be carefully interpreted. Creatinine-based eGFR was overestimated more often than cystatin C-based eGFR, with overestimation of eGFR closely related to poor prognostic performance.
Overestimation of renal function frequently occurs in patients with liver cirrhosis when using serum creatinine. Decreased muscle mass has a great impact on overestimation of kidney function especially in male patients with cirrhosis. Compared with creatinine, cystatin C was more closely correlated with measured glomerular filtration rate and had a higher predictive ability for renal complications and survival than creatinine.