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Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR) - Topic Overview

Glomerular filtration is the process by which the kidneys filter the blood, removing excess wastes and fluids. Glomerular filtration rate (GFR) is a calculation that determines how well the blood is filtered by the kidneys, which is one way to measure remaining kidney function. GFR is also used to find the stage of chronic kidney disease.

Glomerular filtration rate is usually calculated using a mathematical formula that compares a person's size, age, sex, and race to serum creatinine levels. A GFR under 60 mL/min/1.73 m² may mean kidney disease—the lower the GFR number, the worse the kidney function. This number is an estimate. It may not be a good measure of kidney health in some people, such as the very young or very old, amputees, or obese people.

Recommended Related to

Understanding Kidney Disease -- Prevention

The key to prevention or delay of severe kidney disease is early detection and aggressive intervention -- while there's still time to slow down the progression to kidney failure.  Medical care with early intervention can change the course of chronic kidney disease and help prevent the need for dialysis or a kidney transplant. Diabetes and high blood pressure account for two thirds of all cases of chronic kidney disease. By aggressively managing diabetes and high blood pressure with diet, exercise,...

Read the Understanding Kidney Disease -- Prevention article > >

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: August 09, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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