Printer Friendly

First Report on the Percentiles of the Glomerular Filtration Rate in Iranian Children Using the 2009 Schwartz Equations.


The glomerular filtration rate (GFR) is widely deemed the best overall index of renal function. The urinary clearance of inulin is the gold standard method for measuring the GFR; however, this method is time-consuming, expensive, and complicated as it requires continuous intravenous infusions and collection of urine samples. Other methods use radiolabeled isotopes or nonradioactive contrast agents such as Cr51-EDTA, iohexol, and iothalamate; nonetheless, not only can these methods be difficult to perform but also they are invasive and not available in all laboratories or hospitals. (1) Thus, the GFR is commonly estimated by measuring serum creatinine and applying creatinine-based GFR equations in daily clinical practice. In recent years, cystatin C, a 13-kD proteinase inhibitor, has also been suggested as a novel marker of renal function. Several studies have suggested that cystatin C is a more sensitive marker than serum creatinine in finding GFR changes. (2,3)

For more than 3 decades, the original Schwartz equation, GFR=kxbody length (cm)/serum creatinine (mg/dL), was the most widely used GFR equation in children. (4) This equation was developed using the Jaffe method for the measurement of serum creatinine. In 2009, Schwartz et al. (5) developed an updated version of their original equation drawing upon an enzymatic method (isotope dilution mass spectrometry) for the measurement of serum creatinine. Aside from this equation, they also proposed a novel GFR equation: the combined Schwartz equation, which is based on serum creatinine, blood urea nitrogen (BUN), and cystatin C. (5) The Schwartz equations are designed for children between 1 and 16 years of age. These equations have been previously validated in a general population of children with normal GFR values. (6,7)

In the existing literature, there is a dearth of data on normal GFR values in children. Particularly, there is no information on the percentiles of the GFR in a general population of Iranian children. In the present study, for the first time, we investigated the GFR percentiles of Iranian children using two 2009 Schwartz equations. The Schwartz equations were selected for the current study as they are the most widely used GFR equations for children worldwide.

Patients and Methods

Study Design and Population

The data used in the present study were obtained from a baseline survey of "Childhood and Adolescence Surveillance and PreventIon of Adult Non-communicable disease" (CASPIAN Study). The third phase of this nationwide school-based health survey was conducted between 2009 and 2010 among 5028 Iranian students aged 7-18 years who were selected by multistage random cluster sampling from urban and rural areas of 27 provinces of Iran. The sample size was determined using the paired continuous data equation. The inclusion criteria consisted of age between 7 and 16 years, having no known renal disease, and presenting no evidence of urinary tract infection at the time of sampling.

Multistage random cluster sampling was applied as follows: first, 3 educational areas, among the total number of 6 educational areas in the city of Isfahan, were selected by simple random sampling. Next, the study sample size was divided into 3 clusters. Then, all the primary and junior high schools located in the 3 selected educational areas were listed and half of them were selected by simple random sampling as well. Thereafter, the sample size for each cluster was divided by k (number of the students in each school), and the proportion of the samples for each school was defined. Finally, an approximately equal number of boys and girls were chosen at each grade of schools as a sampling framework by simple random sampling. For randomization, in each step of sampling we used random number sequences generated by computer. The details of the data collection and sampling of the CASPIAN studies are characterized elsewhere. (8) The present paper describes the findings on 712 children from Isfahan, as was the case in our previous report on chronic kidney disease screening in children residing in this area. (9) We excluded 25 children between 16 and 18 years of age. Thus, a total of 687 children aged 7-16 years were included in the present study. In brief, the study objectives and protocol were explained comprehensively to the students and their parents and a written informed consent was obtained from all the participants before enrollment in the study. The demographic and clinical data of the eligible students, including age, sex, height, weight, and blood pressure, were obtained. Fasting blood samples were taken and centrifuged for 10 minutes at 3000 rpm within 30 minutes of venipuncture in Isfahan's central provincial laboratory, where the biochemical analyses were performed. The study protocol was approved by the Ethics Committee of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences (approval code: 298613).

Biochemical Measurements and GFR Estimation

Serum creatinine and BUN were measured by enzymatic methods on a Hitachi 917 autoanalyzer. Serum cystatin C was measured via the particle-enhanced immunoturbidimetric method (Dako, Glostrup, Denmark). (10) The validity of the enzymatic method in the measurement of creatinine and also the validity of the immunoturbidimetric method in the measurement of cystatin C have been approved previously. (5,10) In order to determine the reliability of the measurements of creatinine and cystatin C in our study, a single laboratory technician analyzed 40 samples of 40 children labeled with 2 different names twice for creatinine and cystatin C. The correlation of the results was 0.7 for creatinine and 0.75 for cystatin C, both of which were acceptable. Probable confounding factors for the measurement of BUN, creatinine, and cystatin C were eliminated via simultaneous measurements by the same technician for all the samples. The accuracy rate in the measurements of creatinine and cystatin C was 0.4 mg/dL and 0.2 mg/L, respectively. For each child, we estimated the GFR using the 2 following equations:

The updated Schwartz equation (5):

GFR (ml/min/1.73 m (2))=0.413xHeight (cm)/Serum Creatinine (mg/dl)

The combined Schwartz equation (5):

GFR (ml/min/1.73 m (2))=39.1x(Height (m)/Creatinine [(mg/dl)).sup.0.516]x(1.8/Cystatin C [(mg/L)).sup.0.294]x[(30/BUN(mg/dl)).sup0.169]x[(1.099).sup.ifmale]x[(Height (m)/1.4).sup.0.188]

Statistical Analysis

The Wilcoxon test was applied to examine the differences in the estimated GFRs between the equations. We determined the age- and gender-specific 5th, 25th, 50th, 75th, and 95th percentiles of the GFR values based on each equation. The correlations between the GFR values obtained by the updated and combined Schwartz equation and the correlations between the GFR values and the age of the children were examined using the Person or Spearman tests, as appropriate. The statistical analyses were performed using MedCalc, version (MedCalc Software, Mariakerke, Belgium).


A total of 687 children, comprising 375 (54.58%) males and 312 (45.41%) females, were studied for the GFR analysis. The median of age was 12 years (range=7-16 y). The mean height was 142.6[+ or -]12.6. The mean values of serum creatinine, cystatin C, and BUN were 0.67[+ or -]0.11, 0.85[+ or -]0.34, and 12.19[+ or -]4.07, correspondingly.

The mean GFR was 100.06[+ or -]19.80 mL/min/1.73 m (2 )based on the updated Schwartz equation and 96.10[+ or -]18.44 mL/min/1.73 m (2) based on the combined Schwartz equation. The Wilcoxon test revealed no significant differences between these equations in estimating the GFR (P=0.22). We determined the percentiles of the estimated GFRs for each equation. Table 1 shows the age- and gender-specific 5th, 25th, 50th, 75th, and 95th percentiles of the GFR values based on the updated and combined Schwartz equations. Figure 1 depicts the box-and-whisker plots of the GFR values estimated by the updated and combined Schwartz equations. The Wilcoxon test showed no significant differences between the equations in estimating the GFR in the boys (Z=1.57, P=0.14) and the girls (Z=1.19, P=0.23). On the other hand, a high level of correlation was observed between the equations in the boys (r=0.92, P=0.0001) and the girls (r=0.95, P=0.0001). Finally, there was no significant correlation between age and the GFR estimated by the updated (r=0.05, P=0.1) and combined (r=0.06, P=0.09) Schwartz equations.


In the current study, we presented the percentiles of the GFR in a general population of Iranian children using 2 recently developed Schwartz equations. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study on the percentiles of GFR values in children without known renal dysfunction in the Middle East. The knowledge about GFR percentiles may be of interest to pediatricians in evaluating renal function in children.

In the literature, there are only a few studies on normal GFR values in children. Blake et al. (11) reported reference ranges for the GFR in children using 51Cr-EDTA measurements. Their study comprised 27 children aged 2-17 years with normal 99mTc-DMSA results. The mean GFR in the index study was 109.5 mL/min/1.73 m (2). However, the mentioned study did not present percentiles for the GFR values for different ages and sexes. The mean of GFR in our study was 100.06[+ or -]19.80 by the updated Schwartz equation and 96.10[+ or -]18.44 by the combined Schwartz equation. The mean GFR in our study is comparable with that in the study of Blake and colleagues. (11) Nevertheless, the aforementioned study employed a reference method for the measurement of the GFR in children, which may have augmented the accuracy of their results. Nonetheless, it should be considered that it is difficult to obtain a reference GFR for children since ethical considerations may preclude the enrollment of healthy children with no known renal disease in studies that would expose them to radioactive radiations to determine the reference GFR. Instead, we enrolled a larger sample in our study and determined their GFR using 2 Schwartz equations as these equations are more widely used than the reference GFR methods in daily clinical practice. In a similar study conducted on Japanese children aged between 3 months and 16 years, the percentile of the GFR was determined without the use of a reference method. (12)

The 2009 Schwartz equations were developed in 349 American children aged 1-16 years with measured GFRs between 15 and 75 mL/min/1.73 m (2). Since then, the external validity of these equations has been evaluated in several studies. For instance, Staples et al. (6) compared the estimated GFR using the updated Schwartz equation with the measured GFR using iothalamate clearance in a population of 503 children with a mean GFR of 110.6 mL/min/1.73 m (2). They found a good agreement between the GFRs estimated by this equation and the GFRs measured by iothalamate clearance in their studied sample. In another study, Bacchetta et al. (7) reported that the updated Schwartz equation was accurate in children with moderate renal impairment and normal GFRs. The United States National Kidney Disease Education Program (NKDEP) has recently suggested the updated Schwartz equation as the "best creatinine-based GFR equation for all children." (13)

In the present study, we observed no correlation between age and GFR values within the age range of 7-16 years. This observation may indicate that GFR values remain relatively constant in this age group in Iranian children. Our observations are similar to previous studies in different populations. (14) For instance, in a study among Japanese children, Uemura et al. (12) showed that the GFR remained relatively constant after infancy until the age of 16 in this population.

In the current study, we showed that both Schwartz equations were highly in concordance in predicting GFR values in children aged 7-16 years. The updated equation is only based on the values of serum creatinine and height. It can, therefore, be easily applicable and cost- beneficial in daily clinical practice in comparison with the more complicated combined equation.

The findings of the current study must be interpreted in view of its limitations, first and foremost among which is its relatively small number of patients. Moreover, we included only children between 7 and 16 years of age and our results may, thus, not be applicable to all Iranian children. The present study is the first report on the percentiles of the GFR in a general population of Iranian children via the Schwartz equations. Further studies with larger sample sizes are warranted to obtain more representative results.


In conclusion, in the current study we presented the 5th, 25th, 50th, 75th, and 95th percentiles of GFR values in a general population of Iranian children aged 7-16 years. The updated and combined Schwartz equations showed high concordance in estimating GFR values in this age group. The GFR values remained relatively constant in this age group.

Conflict of Interest: None declared. References

(1.) Stevens LA, Coresh J, Greene T, Levey AS. Assessing kidney function--measured and estimated glomerular filtration rate. N Engl J Med. 2006;354:2473-83. doi: 10.1056/NEJMra054415. PubMed PMID: 16760447.

(2.) Zahran A, El-Husseini A, Shoker A. Can cystatin C replace creatinine to estimate glomerular filtration rate? A literature review. Am J Nephrol. 2007;27:197-205. doi: 10.1159/000100907. PubMed PMID: 17361076.

(3.) Roos JF, Doust J, Tett SE, Kirkpatrick CM. Diagnostic accuracy of cystatin C compared to serum creatinine for the estimation of renal dysfunction in adults and children--a meta-analysis. Clin Biochem. 2007;40:383-91. doi: 10.1016/j.clinbiochem.2006.10.026. PubMed PMID: 17316593

(4.) Schwartz GJ, Haycock GB, Edelmann CM, Jr., Spitzer A. A simple estimate of glomerular filtration rate in children derived from body length and plasma creatinine. Pediatrics. 1976;58:259-63. PubMed PMID: 951142.

(5.) Schwartz GJ, Munoz A, Schneider MF, Mak RH, Kaskel F, Warady BA, et al. New equations to estimate GFR in children with CKD. J Am Soc Nephrol. 2009;20:629-37. doi: 10.1681/ASN.2008030287. PubMed PMID: 19158356; PubMed Central PMCID: PMCPMC2653687.

(6.) Staples A, LeBlond R, Watkins S, Wong C, Brandt J. Validation of the revised Schwartz estimating equation in a predominantly non-CKD population. Pediatr Nephrol. 2010;25:2321-6. doi: 10.1007/s00467-010-1598-7. PubMed PMID: 20652327.

(7.) Bacchetta J, Cochat P, Rognant N, Ranchin B, Hadj-Aissa A, Dubourg L. Which creatinine and cystatin C equations can be reliably used in children? Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. 2011;6:552-60. doi: 10.2215/CJN.04180510. PubMed PMID: 21115623; PubMed Central PMCID: PMCPMC3082413.

(8.) Kelishadi R, Motlagh ME, Roomizadeh P, Abtahi SH, Qorbani M, Taslimi M, et al. First report on path analysis for cardiometabolic components in a nationally representative sample of pediatric population in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA): the CASPIAN-III Study. Ann Nutr Metab. 2013;62:257-65. doi: 10.1159/000346489. PubMed PMID: 23635794.

(9.) Gheissari A, Kelishadi R, Roomizadeh P, Abedini A, Haghjooy-Javanmard S, Abtahi SH, et al. Chronic Kidney Disease Stages 3-5 in Iranian Children: Need for a School-based Screening Strategy: The CASPIAN-III Study. Int J Prev Med. 2013;4:95-101. PubMed PMID: 23413177; PubMed Central PMCID: PMCPMC3570918.

(10.) Al-Turkmani MR, Law T, Kellogg MD. Performance evaluation of a particle-enhanced turbidimetric cystatin C assay on the Hitachi 917 analyzer. Clin Chim Acta. 2008;398:75-7. doi: 10.1016/j. cca.2008.08.016. PubMed PMID: 18778699.

(11.) Blake GM, Gardiner N, Gnanasegaran G, Dizdarevic S. Reference ranges for 51Cr-EDTA measurements of glomerular filtration rate in children. Nucl Med Commun. 2005;26:983-7. PubMed PMID: 16208176.

(12.) Uemura O, Nagai T, Ishikura K, Ito S, Hataya H, Gotoh Y, et al. Reference glomerular filtration rate levels in Japanese children: using the creatinine and cystatin C based estimated glomerular filtration rate. Clin Exp Nephrol. 2015;19:683-7. doi: 10.1007/s10157-014-1042-6. PubMed PMID: 25326724.

(13.) National Kidney Disease Education Program (NKDEP)[Internet]. For Children (Conventional Units): Bedside IDMS-traceable Schwartz GFR Calculator for Children. [Cited July 19, 2014]. Available from:

(14.) Schwartz GJ, Furth SL. Glomerular filtration rate measurement and estimation in chronic kidney disease. Pediatr Nephrol. 2007;22:1839-48. doi: 10.1007/s00467-006-0358-1. PubMed PMID: 17216261.

Peyman Roomizadeh (1), MD;

Alaleh Gheissari (2,3), MD;

Roya Kelishadi (4), MD;

Farhad Mahmoudi (5), MD;

Amin Abedini (2), MD

(1) School of Medicine, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran; (2) Isfahan Kidney Diseases Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran; (3) Department of Pediatric Nephrology, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran; (4) Child Growth and Development Research Center, Department of Pediatrics, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran; (5) Medical Students' Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical sciences, Isfahan, Iran


Amin Abedini, MD;

Isfahan Kidney Diseases Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences and Health Services, Hezar-Jerib St., Postal code: 73461-81746, Isfahan, Iran

Tel: +98 913 2890262

Fax: +98 31 42613636


Received: 9 April 2017

Revised: 20 June 2017

Accepted: 16 July 2017

What's Known

* There is scarce information on normal glomerular fltration rate (GFR) values in children.

** There are no data about the percentiles of the GFR in Iranian children.

What's New

* Updated and combined Schwartz equations had high concordance in estimating GFR values in Iranian children aged 7-16 years.

* There was no correlation between age and GFR values. GFR values remained relatively constant in this age group.

* This paper presents the 5th, 25th, 50th, 75th, and 95th GFR percentiles in Iranian children aged 7-16 years.
Table 1: Age- and gender-specific 5th, 25th, 50th, 75th, and 95th
percentiles of the GFR values based on the updated and combined
Schwartz equations

Age    Sex     n    5th percentile  25th percentile  50th percentile

7 y    Boys    27   60.45           74.06             81.45
       Girls   32   79.56           85.87             96.88
8 y    Boys    29   76.75           90.11             96.58
       Girls   22   81.98           93.83            100.28
9 y    Boys    47   67.79           80.05             87.37
       Girls   34   72.66           84.31             99.65
10 y   Boys    39   73.90           84.54             97.03
       Girls   34   77.81           91.72            100.02
11 y   Boys    32   78.68           87.89            101.01
       Girls   47   73.09           83.28             97.50
12 y   Boys    42   70.85           80.04             85.64
       Girls   36   66.69           82.34             90.05
13 y   Boys    35   75.45           85.34             96.38
       Girls   22   82.99           92.68            100.41
14 y   Boys    46   63.32           67.08             80.07
       Girls   31   71.94           82.62             97.30
15 y   Boys    49   75.89           91.73            103.53
       Girls   30   77.45           90.32            100.74
16 y   Boys    29   81.03           90.76            101.89
       Girls   24   79.98           88.01             99.35
GFR values based on the combined Schwartz equation
7 y    Boys    27   73.25           83.15             94.30
       Girls   32   74.84           87.17             95.02
8 y    Boys    29   74.54           88.18            106.69
       Girls   22   83.53           94.69            108.41
9 y    Boys    47   74.64           84.37            101.18
       Girls   34   76.63           97.05            111.37
10 y   Boys    39   77.91           91.15            102.07
       Girls   34   85.20           92.26            103.00
11 y   Boys    32   82.23           94.40            102.90
       Girls   47   78.42           95.87            100.06
12 y   Boys    42   70.52           83.04             98.20
       Girls   36   73.88           82.98             94.17
13 y   Boys    35   70.05           84.81             96.76
       Girls   22   90.86           98.38            108.75
14 y   Boys    46   71.18           80.32             85.33
       Girls   31   76.17           94.40            105.31
15 y   Boys    49   79.29           95.94            108.75
       Girls   30   83.78           90.86            101.18
16 y   Boys    29   85.94           96.76            106.34
       Girls   24   81.56           90.63             97.74

Age    75th percentile  95th percentile

7 y     88.62           101.15
       105.32           127.31
8 y    105.54           117.27
       103.50           112.41
9 y     94.83           104.94
       121.27           136.23
10 y   108.92           132.25
       110.12           122.94
11 y   110.78           124.83
       103.33           128.94
12 y    94.83           109.13
       100.85           114.72
13 y   113.11           121.11
       109.72           120.03
14 y    93.79           106.73
       110.12           134.60
15 y   115.64           134.21
       108.28           121.19
16 y   111.53           126.00
       103.20           128.54
GFR values based on the combined Schwartz equation
7 y     99.41           116.21
       103.76           133.2
8 y    110.13           116.19
       112.54           127.98
9 y    118.66           131.66
       119.08           145.84
10 y   116.32           140.66
       110.13           120.47
11 y   113.57           130.42
       112.19           130.67
12 y   113.05           125.79
       100.44           119.08
13 y   109.10           123.78
       112.19           127.16
14 y    99.71           122.24
       118.39           140.23
15 y   115.64           137.73
       109.10           120.32
16 y   112.88           131.34
       109.78           130.09

GFR: Glomerular filtration rate
COPYRIGHT 2018 Shiraz University of Medical Sciences
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2018 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:Brief Report
Author:Roomizadeh, Peyman; Gheissari, Alaleh; Kelishadi, Roya; Mahmoudi, Farhad; Abedini, Amin
Publication:Iranian Journal of Medical Sciences
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:7IRAN
Date:Mar 1, 2018
Previous Article:Amelioration of Pentylenetetrazole-Induced Seizures by Modulators of Sigma, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate, and Ryanodine Receptors in Mice.
Next Article:Optimization of the Static Human Osteoblast/Osteoclast Co-culture System.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2022 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters |