Title

Effect of diet on creatinine clearance and excretion in young and elderly healthy subjects and in patients with renal disease

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

10-1-1991

Journal

Journal of the American Society of Nephrology

Volume

2

Issue

4

Keywords

Creatinine clearance; Diet; Elderly; Protein intake; Urinary urea nitrogen

Abstract

Thirty-seven young healthy subjects with normal renal function were studied to assess the quantitative effect of protein intake on creatinine clearance. A standard 24-h urine collection and blood sample at the end of the collection were obtained for creatinine and urea concentrations. Correlations between creatinine clearance and urinary urea nitrogen excretion (r = 0.8; P < 0.0001) and calculated protein intake (r= 0.8; P < 0.0001) were observed. A significant relationship between creatinine clearance and urea nitrogen excretion was also demonstrated in 28 elderly healthy subjects and 33 patients with renal disease. To demonstrate a cause and effect between urea nitrogen excretion and creatinine clearance in healthy subjects, 18 of the 37 healthy subjects repeated the 24-h urine collection and blood sample after ingesting 5 g of urea in addition to their usual diet. Mean urinary urea nitrogen excretion increased from a mean value of 9.8 ± 4.0 to 11.8 ± 4.0 g/day. There was a strong correlation between the changes in urea nitrogen excretion and the changes in creatinine clearance. In acute studies with oral protein loading, there was a significant correlation between creatinine clearance and urinary urea nitrogen excretion. It was concluded that protein intake has a direct and quantitative effect on creatinine clearance in healthy subjects. In normal humans, it is likely that GFR is not a fixed function. Thus, a low creatinine clearance is not a categorical sign of renal disease. A low creatinine clearance adjusted for urea nitrogen excretion may be a useful clinical tool to assess renal function.

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