Glomerular filtration rate (GFR)

Topic Overview

Glomerular filtration is the process by which the kidneys filter the blood, removing excess wastes and fluids. Glomerular filtration rate (GFR) is a calculation that determines how well the blood is filtered by the kidneys, which is one way to measure remaining kidney function.

Glomerular filtration rate is usually calculated using a mathematical formula that compares a person's size, age, sex, and race to serum creatinine levels. A GFR under 60 mL/min/1.73 m² may indicate kidney disease—the lower the GFR number, the worse the kidney function. This number is an estimate. It may not be a good measure of kidney health in some people, such as the very young or very old, amputees, or obese people.

For more information on kidney disease, see the topic Chronic Kidney Disease.

Credits

Author Monica Rhodes
Editor Maria Essig
Associate Editor Tracy Landauer
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Tushar J. Vachharajani, MD, FASN, FACP - Nephrology
Last Updated August 12, 2008

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