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Serum creatinine is an inadequate screening test for renal failure in ischemic stroke patients

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Piñol-Ripoll G, de la Puerta I, Purroy F. Serum creatinine is an inadequate screening test for renal failure in ischemic stroke patients.

Acta Neurol Scand 2009: 120: 47–52.

© 2009 The Authors Journal compilation © 2009 Blackwell Munksgaard. Objective – 

Serum creatinine (SCr) level is the most commonly used screening test for renal function, but its concentration is affected by factors other than glomerular filtration rate (GFR). We hypothesized that SCr would underestimate the degree of renal failure in ischemic stroke patients. Material and methods – 

We conducted a prospective study of 273 patients admitted to our institution for ischemic stroke within a year. GFR was calculated using the Cockcroft–Gault formula (CG). Patients were grouped according to the SCr with stages of renal failure according to CG values. Results – 

Of the 273 patients studied, 231 had normal SCr. Of this group 46.8% (108), 24.7% (57) and 4 (1.7%) had mild, moderate and severe renal failure according to GFR estimation. Among patients with normal SCr, abnormal CG values were identified in 86.2% (150) ≥ 65 years old, 33.3% (19) <65 years old, 69% (89) in men and 78.4% (80) in women. An SCr greater than 1.7 mg/dl had only a sensitivity of 14.7%. Conclusions – 

This study documents the substantial prevalence of significantly abnormal renal function among patients with normal-range SCr. Routine estimation of GFR be preferred to SCr as a screening method for the early detection of renal impairment in stroke patients.

Keywords: Cockcroft–Gault formula; ischemic; renal failure; serum creatinine; stroke

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Neurology Division, Hospital Santa Maria, Lleida, Spain 2: Cardiology Division, Hospital Clínico Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Spain 3: Neurology Division, Hospital Arnau de Vilanova, Lleida, Spain

Publication date: July 1, 2009


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