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Getting tested to be a donor - Some Questions

PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2016 7:59 am
by harryharryharry
Hello all,

I trust everyone is doing well. I recently joined this forum as my brother will need a kidney transplant in the next few years. He is in his mid 30's and received a kidney from our mom a few years back after being on dialysis for a few years. However, he contracted a virus and it has affected his kidney function greatly.

I recently started getting initial tests done to check my suitability. I am 37 years old.
They included a full blood count, blood renal panel and urine analysis. All came back normal according to my doctor.

When he emailed me the results, one thing stuck out. The eGFR was 87 and the report said that the eGFR was calculated using the CKD EPI Calculation.
I understand that that can be fully normal for many people. However, the more I researched online, I found out about the eGFR being a calculation from serum creatinine.
My creatinine was 0.94. When inputting it into the calculation, it says my eGFR is 103. I was 36 when I did the test and am a white male. From my understanding, eGFR is worked on blood creatinine, age, race, height and weight.

This has got me concerned, as I'm sure you can appreciate, I don't want anything to stop me donating a kidney to my brother.

Can anyone shed some light on why the lab got 87 using the exact same calculation (CKD EPI). Is there something I am missing here?

Warm regards,

Re: Getting tested to be a donor - Some Questions

PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2016 1:25 pm
by Thumps
Hi Harry,

Great that you're considering helping your brother like this. With regard to the eGFR result, I was under the impression that the measure also includes other factors including urea levels as well as the ones you list. Try not to read too much into it, particularly as you say your brother may not need another transplant for some time yet, as eGFR also fluctuates over time so a test taken now may provide a quite different set of results to one taken in a year or two from now.

Different countries (you don't say what country you're in but from the measures you're using you may not be in the UK I'm guessing?) also have different criteria for suitability, and will need to conduct additional tests on your heart, lungs and circulation as well as kidney function. In general, keeping as fit and healthy as possible between now and any possible donation is the best thing you can do to support your brother, and keeping in touch with him and his medical team about the timing and needs of any donation. My own living donation experience with my friend was very positive but took a year from starting the process to having the surgery.

Wishing you all the luck,

Re: Getting tested to be a donor - Some Questions

PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2016 5:34 pm
by Dixie1
Hi Harry

Echo what Thumps says above. Keep in mind that the 'e' in eGFR stands for 'estimated' and it is just that, an estimate. Different labs use slightly different calculations. There is always a difference between the eGFR reading I get from bloods ordered by my GP for example and bloods ordered by my nephrologist, even though they use the same formula. Very odd I know. Most importantly I would have thought, in your case, is that anything over eGFR 60 is considered within 'normal' range I believe. Also, as I understand it, it is far harder to get an accurate eGFR calculations with levels over 60, as opposed to levels below 60. Just being a little dehydrated can also make a lot of difference from one day to the next. It sounds like you are in great shape, so try not to worry. Great that you are doing this for your brother. Very best of luck.

Re: Getting tested to be a donor - Some Questions

PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2016 2:50 pm
by bosshogg
Everyone is different and egfr is an estimate.

Don't think there is anything to worry about with either number.