Study Shows that Cystatin C Blood Test Better Predicts Both Kidney Disease And Cardiovascular Risk.
University of Glasgow researchers have found a better way to test for kidney disease
using a simple blood test that is affordable and although it is available in hospital laboratories in UK, US and certain parts of Asia, is not yet widely used. The team have highlighted that Cystatin C
, a simple blood test which could easily be adopted routinely in the global healthcare setting is a better way of measuring both kidney
and cardiovascular disease
risks, as it offers a more precise diagnosis and could lead to better patient outcomes.
Typically, chronic kidney disease
characterised by gradual loss of kidney function over time, is common, affecting around 10% of the population. It is also associated with premature cardiovascular disease and mortality and more rarely progresses to the point where patients need dialysis or a kidney transplant. Amongst patients with Chronic Kidney Disease
reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease
relies on accurate diagnosis, recognition of risk and early identification and treatment of risk factors.
"Our study emphasises how important renal function is for our general health given that suboptimal renal function can lead to an increased risk of a cardiovascular event. Our findings indicate that patients would benefit from the added predictive value of using a test called the cystatin C t
est. We would hope to see it adopted as the primary method for diagnosis of Chronic Kidney Disease
particularly for those patients with cardiovascular disease
risk factors such as diabetes, hypertension or obesity." Commented Dr. Jennifer Lees, from the University of Glasgow's Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences, during an interview with Thailand Medical
"For a relatively low cost of about Thai Baht 70 or US$2.4 per test doctors can use this test to gain a much clearer understanding of a patient's kidney health, as well as cardiovascular risk. With this knowledge, doctors can identify and treat risk factors earlier and, hopefully, save more lives in the process."said the team.
The new study used data from over 400,000 patients in the UK Biobank and looked at three different kidney function tests for eGFR estimated glomerular filtration rate to determine which was the most clinically informative for predicting cardiovascular disease
Utilizing statistical models to compare the results, the researchers determined the cystatin C
formula to be the best at predicting cardiovascular risk
as compared to the traditionally-used serum creatinine method.
testing has been available in the world for over 10 years, and has a number of potential advantages over serum creatinine and is thought to be a more sensitive measure to estimate kidney function. It is far more better than using serum creatinine.
Dr. Jeniffer Lees added: "Despite being recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), measurement of
g>cystatin C has not been widely adopted in clinical practice, presumably relating to uncertainty around the added value of a more expensive test.We hope our study shows that the adoption of this simple test would provide doctors with a precision medicine diagnosis for kidney disease and cardiovascular risk."
Reference: Jennifer S. Lees et al. Glomerular filtration rate by differing measures, albuminuria and prediction of cardiovascular disease, mortality and end-stage kidney disease, Nature Medicine (2019). DOI: 10.1038/s41591-019-0627-8