A blood test based on Cystatin C levels can effectively identify individuals with chronic kidney disease who have a high risk of complications, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Society Nephrology.
Although doctors most often use a creatinine blood test to assess kidney function, cystatin C blood measurements have emerged as an alternative test.
To evaluate the ability of cystatin C levels to identify chronic kidney disease complications, researchers conducted a that study included 11,909 participants from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis and the Cardiovascular Health Study – two trials designed to investigate various aspects of cardiovascular disease.
The investigators defined chronic kidney disease based on the creatinine test and the Cystatin C test and evaluated which of the tests would predict the risk of premature death, cardiovascular events, heart failure, and kidney failure.
The researchers found that individuals diagnosed with chronic kidney disease based on the cystatin C test had a higher risk of these complications than those diagnosed with the creatinine test.
The authors concluded that cystatin C may have an important role in identifying individuals with chronic kidney disease who are at the highest risk of complications.
In addition, the cystatin C test could identify patients with a high risk of chronic kidney disease complications who are missed by the creatinine test.