Creatinine Clearance Calculator

Created by Małgorzata Koperska, MD and Joanna Michałowska, PhD candidate
Reviewed by Bogna Szyk and Aleksandra Zając, MD
Based on research by
D W Cockcroft, M H Gault Prediction of creatinine clearance from serum creatinine Nephron (1976)See 3 more sources
Theresa Hahn, Song Yao, Lauren M.Dunford, Julie Thomas, James Lohr, Pradeep Arora, Minoo Battiwalla, Shannon L. Smiley, Philip L. McCarthyJr. A Comparison of Measured Creatinine Clearance versus Calculated Glomerular Filtration Rate for Assessment of Renal Function before Autologous and Allogeneic BMT Biology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation (May 2009)Mary A Winter, Kelly N Guhr, Gina M Berg Impact of various body weights and serum creatinine concentrations on the bias and accuracy of the Cockcroft-Gault equation Pharmacotherapy (May 2012)Daniel L. Brown, Andrew J. Masselink, Christina D. Lalla Functional Range of Creatinine Clearance for Renal Drug Dosing: A Practical Solution to the Controversy of Which Weight to Use in the Cockcroft-Gault Equation Annals of Pharmacotherapy (June 2013)
Last updated: Jul 30, 2022

The creatinine clearance calculator finds the creatinine clearance (CrCl), which is an estimate of the glomerular filtration rate (GFR). A commonly used creatinine clearance formula is the Cockcroft-Gault equation.

In the article, you can learn how the estimated CrCl calculation is conducted and how to find it directly using urine creatinine concentration. We are also presenting a step-by-step solution to help you understand how to calculate creatinine clearance.

We try our best to make our Omni Calculators as precise and reliable as possible. However, this tool can never replace a professional doctor's assessment. If any health condition bothers you, consult a physician.

What is creatinine clearance?

Creatinine clearance, or CrCl for short, is a measure of renal function. Kidneys play a significant role in the human body and are responsible for:

  • Excreting metabolism waste products;
  • Formation of urine;
  • Regulation of osmolality;
  • Maintaining the water and salt level of the body;
  • Acid-base balance;
  • Blood pressure regulation; and
  • Hormone secretion.

The creatinine clearance rate is the volume of blood plasma that is cleared of creatinine per unit time. It is a convenient method of estimating the patient's GFR.

CrCl or GFR are measured when renal disease is suspected or when careful dosing of renally metabolized drugs is required (e.g., carboplatin).

Creatinine clearance equation (Cockcroft-Gault equation)

The Cockcroft-Gault equation is named after the scientists Dr. Donald William Cockcroft and Dr. Matthew Henry Gault, who first published the formula in 1976.

Their creatinine clearance formula uses serum creatinine (sCr) measurements and a patient's weight, age and sex to predict the creatinine clearance estimate in mL/min. The CrCl equation looks like this:

CrCl = (140 - age) × weight × sex / (72 × sCr)

The coefficient sex equals 0.85 for females or 1 for males.

Creatinine clearance adjusted for body weight

The Cockcroft-Gault equation is the most widely used method of quantifying renal function for drug dosing. However, using this formula is associated with some inaccuracies. Abnormal body weight, especially obesity, is one of the problems in the estimation of renal function.

Serum creatinine production is associated with lean body mass, not fat, as the muscle tissue is responsible for creatinine production. To account for this problem, clinicians have been discussing different methods of controlling for obesity.

The Cockcroft-Gault body weight controversy still remains unresolved. However, according to the studies of Brown et al. and Winter et al., the following adjustments can be made:

  • For underweight patients (BMI <18.5), actual body weight should be used in the calculations.

  • Patients with normal weight (BMI 18.5-25) – unbiased CrCl can be calculated using ideal body weight.

  • For patients who are overweight or obese (BMI ≥25), a 40% adjustment factor should be used:

    ABW = IBW + 0.4 × (TBW – IBW)

    where:

    • ABW – Adjusted body weight [kg];

    • IBW – Ideal body weight [kg]; and

    • TBW – Total body weight (current weight) [kg].

Other creatinine clearance formulas

Apart from the Cockcroft-Gault equation, there are four different ways of estimating GFR:

  1. CKD-EPI Creatinine Equation;

  2. CKD-EPI Creatinine-Cystatin Equation;

  3. CKD-EPI Cystatin C Equation; and

  4. MDRD Study Equation.

There is a substantial difference in the way that GFR is calculated for adults and for pediatric use.

Creatinine clearance – interpretation

The normal range of GFR is over 90 mL/min. However, a value over 60 mL/min is considered normal in most cases when no more kidney disease markers are present.

However, this value may not be applicable for older patients as after the age of 40, GFR decreases progressively by 0.4–1.2 mL/min per year.

How to calculate creatinine clearance – an example

Let's calculate CrCl for a theoretical patient named Bob. He is 67 years old, weighs 92 kilograms (203 lbs – you can switch between units when you use our CrCl calculator!), and is 173 cm tall. His serum creatinine equals 1.4 mg/dL.

  1. First, we need to check Bob's BMI:

    BMI = weight [kg]/(height [m] × height [m])

    BMI = 92/(1.73 × 1.73)

    BMI = 30.74

  2. According to BMI, Bob is obese, so adjusted body weight needs to be calculated to use the Cockcroft-Gault equation:

    ABW = IBW + 0.4 × (TBW – IBW)

    Where we need to calculate ideal body weight (IBW) first:

    IBW = 50 kg + (0.9 kg × (height (cm) − 152))

    IBW = 50 kg + (0.9 kg × (173 − 152))

    IBW = 50 kg + 18.9 kg

    IBW = 68.9 kg

    After finding out what IBW is, we can come back to the equation:

    ABW = IBW + 0.4 × (TBW – IBW)

    ABW = 68.9 + 0.4 × (92 – 68.9)

    ABW = 68.9 + 0.4 × (92 – 68.9)

    ABW = 68.9 + 9.24

    ABW = 78.14 kg

  3. Now, we can use the Cockcroft-Gault equation to calculate creatinine clearance:

    CrCl = (140 - age) × weight × sex / (72 × sCr)

    CrCl = (140 - 67) × 78.14 × 1 / (72 × 1.4)

    CrCl = 73 × 78.14 × 1 / 100.8

    CrCl = 5704.22 / 100.8

    CrCl = 56.6 ml/min

  4. Looking at this result, we can assume that patient's CrCl is below the normal range.

Direct CrCl calculation

Creatine clearance can also be calculated directly, using both serum (sCr) and urine creatinine (uCr), and urine volume. The result is reliable, but it's less popular because of the inconvenient 24-hour collection of urine. You can find this option in our creatinine clearance calculator by clicking advanced mode. It uses the following creatinine clearance formula:

dCrCl = uCr × urine volume / (sCr × urine collection duration)

Małgorzata Koperska, MD and Joanna Michałowska, PhD candidate
Age
years
Sex
Female
Weight
lb
Height
ft
Serum creatinine
mg/dL
Results
Creatinine clearance
mL/min
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