What is Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR) and How to Measure It?
Glomerular filtration rate (GFR) is a measurement of the kidney’s filtering ability. It is the rate at which blood is filtered through the tiny glomeruli (filtering units) in the kidney. GFR is the most accurate predictor of kidney function and is used to diagnose and monitor kidney disease. In this article, we will discuss GFR in detail and how it is measured.
What is GFR?
As stated earlier, GFR is a measure of kidney function. The glomeruli in the kidney are responsible for filtering waste products and excess fluid from the blood. GFR is the rate at which blood is filtered through the glomeruli. A higher GFR means the kidney is functioning better, while a lower GFR indicates impaired kidney function.
To measure GFR, two simple tests can be done. The first test is a blood test to determine the level of creatinine in the blood. Creatinine is a waste product produced by muscle metabolism and is eliminated from the body by the kidneys.
The second test is a urine test that measures the amount of creatinine in the urine. By comparing the amount of creatinine in the blood and urine, the GFR can be estimated. However, GFR can be more accurately determined by using a formula that takes into account age, sex, and ethnicity.
Why is GFR important?
GFR is important because it is the most accurate predictor of kidney function. A decreased GFR may indicate an early stage of kidney disease, and early intervention can prevent the progression of kidney disease. GFR is also important in the management of patients with chronic kidney disease and in monitoring the effectiveness of treatment.
In conclusion, GFR is a vital measure of kidney function. It is used to diagnose and monitor kidney disease, and a lower GFR indicates impaired kidney function. GFR can be estimated by comparing the amount of creatinine in the blood and urine, but a more accurate measurement can be determined using a formula that takes into account age, sex, and ethnicity. If you suspect kidney disease, speak to your healthcare provider about measuring your GFR.