What is the Estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate?

Estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate or eGFR is a medical procedure or test that aims to measure the overall kidney function or health of a patient.

glomerular filtration rate

Estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate or eGFR is a medical procedure or test that aims to measure the overall kidney function or health of a patient. This test is especially helpful for doctors and healthcare professionals in determining a patient’s level of kidney function and the stage of a patient’s kidney disease.

A patient’s kidney function can primarily be determined by the doctor or a healthcare professional through the patient’s gender, weight, age and the results of his or her creatinine test. All of these variables, when taken together, will yield an individual’s Glomerular Filtration Rate and if the doctors determine that a patient’s Estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate as slightly decreased, then the healthcare professional may conclude that the patient has kidneys that are not functioning well or as it should. It is best to diagnose the initial stages of kidney disease as patients together with their health partners can avert or prevent the further progression of the aforementioned disease.

Various Glomerular Filtration Rates and Their Equivalent Kidney Function Percentage for Patients with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)

As mentioned earlier, Chronic Kidney Disease or CKD can start with the minor loss of kidney function and progress to full-blown kidney failure. The Estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate or eGFR can help doctors determine the possible level of the patient’s chronic kidney disease or CKD and the corresponding kidney function per stage of the disease. Enumerated below are the stages of Chronic Kidney Disease or CKD:

1. Stage 5 Chronic Kidney Disease or CKD

Stage 5 Chronic Kidney Disease or CKD is characterized by outright kidney failure and a Glomerular Filtration Rate of less than 15 percent (15%).

2. Stage 4 Chronic Kidney Disease or CKD

Stage 4 Chronic Kidney Disease or CKD is characterized by the kidney experiencing severe loss of function with a Glomerular Filtration Rate of Twentynine to fifteen percent (29-15%).

3. Stage 3b Chronic Kidney Disease or CKD

Stage 3b Chronic Kidney Disease or CKD is characterized by the kidney experiencing moderate to severe loss of its function with a Glomerular Filtration Rate of Forty Four to Thirty Percent (44-30%).

4. Stage 3a Chronic Kidney Disease or CKD

Stage 3a Chronic Kidney Disease or CKD is characterized by the kidney experiencing mild to moderate loss of its function with a Glomerular Filtration Rate of Fifty-nine to forty-five percent (59-45%).

5. Stage 2 Chronic Kidney Disease or CKD

Stage 2 Chronic Kidney Disease or CKD is characterized by the kidney experiencing some form of damage with mild loss of its function with a Glomerular Filtration Rate of Eighty-nine to Sixty percent (59-45%).

6. Stage 1 Chronic Kidney Disease or CKD

Stage 1 Chronic Kidney Disease or CKD is characterized by the kidney experiencing some damage but retaining some of its normal functions. Glomerular Filtration Rate for Stage 1 Chronic Kidney Disease or CKD of Ninety (90%).

What are the next steps after determining that a patient has Chronic Kidney Disease or CKD?

Once the doctor determines that the patient has an estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate (eGFR)that is lower than sixty percent (60%) for more than three (3) months or an  estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate (eGFR) that is more than sixty percent (60%) with signs of damage to the kidneys due to elavated levels of albumin in the patient’s urine means that an individual has Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD).

The condition wherein there is an elevated level of protein or albumin in an individual’s urine is called albuminuria and is an early indication or symptom of the patient’s kidney disease. Patients with albuminuria or those with high levels of albumin in the urine are at an increased risk of having their kidney disease move or progress into the eventual failure or loss of kidney functions.

Once doctors suspect that a patient may have Chronic Kidney Disease or CKD, doctors may recommend conducting other tests or medical procedures on the patient. The doctor may call for a CT scan or an ultrasound to check the patient’s urinary tract and kidneys. This imaging tests can provide the doctor with a rich amount of valuable information regarding the patient’s kidneys and urinary tracts such as the size of the patient’s kidneys and any tumors or structural deformities in the patient’s kidneys or urinary tract.

The patient’s doctor or healthcare professional may also order the conduct of a biopsy of the kidney. This kidney biopsy will try to check for specific diseases of the kidney, check for the levels of damage the kidney has already accumulated, and help doctors come up with a specific plan for treatment.

The process for conducting a kidney biopsy involves the doctor taking small tissue samples from the kidney of the patient to study them under the microscope and check for any abnormalities or possible findings. Healthcare professionals or doctors may also refer a patient with possible kidney disease to a kidney specialist called a nephrologist who can help with the further workup and treatment of individuals suffering from Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD).

What Estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate (eGFR) is considered normal?

It is normal for old people to have a lower Estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate or eGFR levels compared to those who are still young. However, there is an established standard on what can be considered as normal estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate (eGFR) based on a patient’s age.

For patients who are seventy (70) years old and above, the normal average estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate (eGFR) is around seventy-five (75). For those who are sixty (60) to sixty-nine (69) years old, the normal average estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate (eGFR) is eighty-five (85).

Patients who are fifty (50) to fifty- nine years of age, the estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate (eGFR) should ideally be around ninety-three (93). Those who are forty (40) to forty-nine (49) years old, the normal average estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate (eGFR) is ninety-nine (99).

P atients who are aged thirty (30) to thirty-nine (39) years old should ideally have an estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate (eGFR) around One Hundred Seven (107). For those who are twenty (20) to twenty-nine (29) years old, the ideal estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate (eGFR) is One Hundred Sixteen (116).

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