The analytical change in plasma creatinine that constitutes a biologic/physiologic change.
PURPOSE: Accurate and precise measurements of creatinine are necessary to evaluate changes in kidney function related to a decreased glomerular filtration rate (GFR). When serial measurements of creatinine are monitored in an individual, it is useful to know what magnitude of an analytical change in creatinine indicates a true physiologic/biologic change in plasma creatinine that might warrant clinical intervention. METHODS: We compared results between three different methods for creatinine using large chemistry analyzers, two based on alkaline picrate (AP1 and AP2), and one based on dry-slide enzymatic conversion (ENZ). On each of three different segments or days of the study spaced 1-2months apart, we selected 10 different plasma samples having creatinine concentrations ranging from about 0.5mg/dL to 4.5mg/dL (44 to 400μmol/L). Each sample was analyzed in triplicate on each of two same-model analyzers at each institution, then from this data we determined the precision of each model of analyzer. The within-instrument precision of each analyzer was evaluated from the differences between the triplicate results on each sample by each analyzer (mean and SD of the differences). The between-instrument precision was evaluated as the differences between results on the same sample (1, 2, 3, etc.) analyzed on different analyzers of the same model (A and B). This between-analyzer precision data was used to determine both the range and mean±2SD of the differences that could be used to indicate that greater changes in creatinine concentrations would represent a biologic change. RESULTS: The within-instrument precision was best for the ENZ method in comparison to the two alkaline picrate rate methods. The between-instrument precision of the 90 consecutive measurements (30 samples×triplicate analyses) between the same-model analyzers were (mean and SD of differences in mg/dL): -0.018 and 0.029 (ENZ); 0.016 and 0.11 (AP1), and -0.058 and 0.071 (AP2). CONCLUSIONS: While all three of the creatinine methods studied had good precision, the ENZ method had the best precision, such that a change of 0.07mg/dL (6μmol/L) in serial creatinine concentrations up to 1.5mg/dL on a patient could indicate a biologic change had occurred. For the alkaline picrate methods, a measured change of creatinine of 0.23mg/dL for AP1 or 0.11mg/dL for AP2 would indicate that a physiologic change in serum/plasma creatinine has occurred. While a definite biologic change may simply represent daily variations, detecting a biologic change in creatinine more rapidly could impact the ability of creatinine to detect early and clinically significant changes in renal function.
Toffaletti, JG; Hammett-Stabler, CA; Gearhart, M; Roy Choudhury, K; Handel, EA
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