Clinical Lab Testing / Diagnostics Industry / Disease States

Measuring Cystatin C improves kidney function risk assessment

Measuring Cystatin C improves kidney function risk assessmentMeasuring Cystatin C blood levels alone or in conjunction with creatinine to estimate kidney function, improves the association between kidney function and risk of death and end-stage renal disease.

From the Chronic Kidney Disease Prognosis Consortium, the findings of the study were included in the New England Journal of Medicine. The study suggests that using Cystatin C could lead to better staging and risk classification of chronic kidney disease. Measuring Cystatin C may also allow for better management of the disease.

Kidney function estimates are usually based on creatinine levels. Creatinine can however, miss early losses of kidney function, especially in patients with low muscle mass. Cystatin C is now becoming more widely used in providing kidney function assessment and estimates.

Michael Shlipak, MD, MPH, lead author and chief of general internal medicine at the San Francisco VA Medical Center said; “Cystatin C allows patients’ kidney function to be categorized more accurately; the use of Cystatin C in clinical medicine could help us to be more precise in the diagnosis of chronic kidney disease, and in the future to target high-risk patients for treatment in order to prevent chronic kidney disease”.

Chronic kidney disease is widespread, affecting over 10% of adults worldwide. Cystatin C is useful as it is not affected by muscle mass and does not require adjustment for factors such as age, gender etc., unlike creatinine.

Josef Coresh, the Consortium’s principle investigator and professor in the John Hopkins Bloomberg School’s Department of Epidemiology concluded; “Our study provides definitive evidence that the measurement of Cystatin C improves risk categorisation based on estimated kidney function, as judged by the risk of death from any cause and to a lesser extent the risks of death from cardiovascular causes and end-stage kidney disease”.



Randox Laboratories provide a high quality Cystatin C reagent. Liquid ready to use and with a wide measuring range, this reagent offers convenience, reliability and confidence in results. For further information, contact

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