Toward Equitable Kidney Function Estimation in Critical Care Practice: Guidance from the Society of Critical Care Medicine's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Renal Clinical Practice Task Force

Todd A. Miano, Erin F. Barreto, Molly McNett, Niels Martin, Ankit Sakhuja, Adair Andrews, Rajit K. Basu, Enyo Ama Ablordeppey

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: Accurate glomerular filtration rate (GFR) assessment is essential in critically ill patients. GFR is often estimated using creatinine-based equations, which require surrogates for muscle mass such as age and sex. Race has also been included in GFR equations, based on the assumption that Black individuals have genetically determined higher muscle mass. However, race-based GFR estimation has been questioned with the recognition that race is a poor surrogate for genetic ancestry, and racial health disparities are driven largely by socioeconomic factors. The American Society of Nephrology and the National Kidney Foundation (ASN/NKF) recommend widespread adoption of new "race-free" creatinine equations, and increased use of cystatin C as a race-agnostic GFR biomarker. DATA SOURCES: Literature review and expert consensus. STUDY SELECTION: English language publications evaluating GFR assessment and racial disparities. DATA EXTRACTION: We provide an overview of the ASN/NKF recommendations. We then apply an Implementation science methodology to identify facilitators and barriers to implementation of the ASN/NKF recommendations into critical care settings and identify evidence-based implementation strategies. Last, we highlight research priorities for advancing GFR estimation in critically ill patients. DATA SYNTHESIS: Implementation of the new creatinine-based GFR equation is facilitated by low cost and relative ease of incorporation into electronic health records. The key barrier to implementation is a lack of direct evidence in critically ill patients. Additional barriers to implementing cystatin C-based GFR estimation include higher cost and lack of test availability in most laboratories. Further, cystatin C concentrations are influenced by inflammation, which complicates interpretation. CONCLUSIONS: The lack of direct evidence in critically ill patients is a key barrier to broad implementation of newly developed "race-free" GFR equations. Additional research evaluating GFR equations in critically ill patients and novel approaches to dynamic kidney function estimation is required to advance equitable GFR assessment in this vulnerable population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)951-962
Number of pages12
JournalCritical Care Medicine
Volume52
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2024

Keywords

  • creatinine
  • critical care medicine
  • cystatin C
  • implementation science
  • kidney function estimation
  • race

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