GFR Calculator - Estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate

Created by Bogna Szyk and Dominika Śmiałek, MD, PhD candidate
Reviewed by Małgorzata Koperska, MD, Steven Wooding and Aleksandra Zając, MD
Based on research by
Andrew S. Levey, MD, Lesley A. Stevens, MD, MS, FRCP(C), Christopher H. Schmid, PhD, Yaping (Lucy) Zhang, MS, Alejandro F. Castro, III, MPH, Harold I. Feldman, MD, MSCE, John W. Kusek, PhD, Paul Eggers, PhD, Frederick Van Lente, PhD, Tom Greene, PhD, and Josef Coresh, MD, PhD, MHS, for the Chronic Kidney Disease Epidemiology Collaboration (CKD-EPI) A New Equation to Estimate Glomerular Filtration Rate; Annals of Internal Medicine; May 2009See 2 more sources
Ying Zhu, Xiaoshuang Ye, Bei Zhu, Xiaohua Pei, Lu Wei, Jianqing Wu, and Weihong Zhao Comparisons between the 2012 New CKD-EPI (Chronic Kidney Disease Epidemiology Collaboration) Equations and Other Four Approved Equations; PLoS ONE; Jan 2014Kwang-Sook Woo, Jae-Lim Choi, Bo-Ram Kim, Ji-Eun Kim, and Jin-Yeong Han Clinical Usefulness of Serum Cystatin C as a Marker of Renal Function; Diabetes & Metabolism Journal; Aug 2014
Last updated: Jan 18, 2024


This GFR calculator (estimated glomerular filtration rate calculator) is a tool that can help you with detecting a kidney disease at its early stage. Read on to get a better understanding of how it works, how to calculate the GFR from cystatin C and creatinine levels, and what values of estimated GFR (eGFR) are an alarming indicator.

What is eGFR?

The estimated glomerular filtration rate, or eGFR for short, is a parameter that determines the risk of kidney disease. It can be calculated from your blood test results. It may indicate that the kidneys don't function correctly.

Glomerulus - a network of small blood vessels in a kidney, where blood filtration takes place
Glomerulus - a network of small blood vessels in a kidney, where blood filtration takes place

The unit of eGFR is mL/min/1.73m². The value 1.73m² is the standardized body area - that's why none of the equations include a variable of height or weight.

It's important to remember that creatinine levels might differ depending on the sex and race of the patient. Also, muscle mass, physical activity, or cachexy have an influence on the blood test result. On the other hand, cystatin C levels are independent of muscle mass — the factors that may interfere are thyroid dysfunction and corticosteroid therapy.

How to calculate GFR?

There are four main equations that you can use to estimate GFR according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Our estimated glomerular filtration rate calculator uses all four of them. You can compare all results and see whether all of them are in the normal range. You can also choose whether you want to calculate eGFR based on serum creatinine or serum cystatin C levels. Or both!

Note that the estimated GFR calculator is suitable only for adults aged 19 or older. Use the pediatric eGFR calculator to calculate the estimated glomerular filtration rate of children.

1. CKD-EPI Creatinine Equation (2009)

This is the primary and most recommended method. It uses just one blood test result for serum creatinine.

eGFR = 141 × min(SCr/k, 1)α × max(SCr/k, 1)-1.209 × 0.993Age × a × b

where:

  • α is a coefficient dependent on sex: -0.329 for females, -0.411 for males;
  • k is a coefficient dependent on sex: 0.7 for females, 0.9 for males;
  • a is a coefficient dependent on sex: 1.018 for females, 1 for males;
  • b is a coefficient dependent on race: 1.159 for black, 1 for other; and
  • SCr is the level of standardized serum creatinine in mg/dL.

2. CKD-EPI Creatinine-Cystatin Equation (2012)

It's a version of the previous formula that also considers the level of serum cystatin C. It provides more accurate results for patients with unusual diets or extreme muscle mass.

eGFR = 135 × min(SCr/k, 1)α × max(SCr/k, 1)-0.601 × min(Scys/0.8, 1)-0.375 × max(Scys/0.8, 1)-0.711 × 0.995Age × a × b

where:

  • α is a coefficient dependent on sex: -0.248 for females, -0.207 for males;
  • k is a coefficient dependent on sex: 0.7 for females, 0.9 for males;
  • a is a coefficient dependent on sex: 1.969 for females, 1 for males;
  • b is a coefficient dependent on race: 1.08 for black, 1 for other;
  • SCr is the level of standardized serum creatinine in mg/dL; and
  • Scys is the level of standardized serum cystatin C in mg/L.

3. CKD-EPI Cystatin C Equation (2012)

This equation considers only the level of serum cystatin C. It is a useful formula for patients with unstable creatinine concentration (for example, pregnant women), as well as a confirmatory test after applying the previous two equations.

eGFR = 133 × min(Scys/0.8, 1)-0.499 × max(Scys/0.8, 1)-1.328 × 0.996Age × a

where:

  • a is a coefficient dependent on sex: 0.932 for females, 1 for males; and
  • Scys is the level of standardized serum cystatin C in mg/L.

4. MDRD Study Equation

This equation is an alternative to the CKD-EPI equations composed by the Chronic Kidney Disease Epidemiology Collaboration. The MDRD equation stands for Modification of Diet in Renal Disease; it has been proven correct for patients between 18 and 70 years old and returns correct values for all patients with common causes of kidney disease.

eGFR = 175 × SCr-1.154 × Age-0.203 × a × b

where:

  • a is a coefficient dependent on sex: 0.742 for females, 1 for males;
  • b is a coefficient dependent on race: 1.212 for black, 1 for other; and
  • SCr is the level of standardized serum creatinine in mg/dL.

What levels of estimated GFR are alarming?

Now that you know how to calculate the GFR (and have used our eGFR calculator to find out yours), you probably wonder what the results mean. The table below shows the typical values of eGFR on different stages of kidney malfunction, based on the data presented by the National Kidney Foundation.

eGFR [mL/min/1.73 m²]

Kidney function

90 or above

No kidney damage or mild kidney damage

60-89

Kidney damage with mild loss of kidney function

45-59

Mild to moderate loss of kidney function

30-45

Moderate to severe loss of kidney function

15-29

Severe loss of kidney function

Less than 15

Kidney failure

Remember that the results may differ between different people based on numerous factors. Consult a doctor in case of any doubts.

How to deal with chronic kidney disease?

In most cases, chronic kidney disease is caused by diabetes or high blood pressure. The other common causes of CKD are immunological or inherited diseases.

If CKD is diagnosed at an early stage, it may be slowed down or brought to a stop. In the most advanced stages of CKD, the patient may require dialysis or a kidney transplant.

If this topic is of interest to you, check the kidney failure risk calculator.

We try our best to make our Omni Calculators as precise and reliable as possible. However, neither we nor our content providers warrant the accuracy of the information on this site. All information on this website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to and should not serve as a substitute for medical consultation, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult your health care provider before making any health care decisions. Omni Calculator and its content providers expressly disclaim responsibility and shall have no liability for any damages, loss, injury, or liability whatsoever suffered as a result of your reliance on the information contained in this site. Your use of the site is only your own risk.

FAQ

What is GFR in a blood test?

The GFR (glomeruli filtration rate) measures how well your kidneys are filtering the blood. Specifically, it checks how much blood flows through the glomeruli (the small filters that clean your blood in the kidneys) each minute. You should perform this test if you observe signs of abnormal kidney function or want to monitor the progression of kidney disease.

What is a normal GFR?

According to the National Kidney Foundation, normal GFR results range from 90 to 120 ml/min/1.73 m². The older you are, the lower your GFR will be, as GFR decreases with age. Remember that different laboratories may use slightly different normal ranges of GFR values.

How is GFR calculated?

To calculate GFR:

  1. Perform a blood test to determine serum creatinine or serum cystatin C levels.

  2. Choose one of the four main methods of calculating GFR:

    • CKD-EPI Creatinine Equation;

    • CKD-EPI Creatinine-Cystatin Equation;

    • CKD-EPI Cystatin C Equation; or

    • MDRD equation.

  3. Select the values of the parameters α, k, a, b, SCr and Scys according to your sex and race.

  4. Voilà! Just calculated your GFR in mL/min/1.73m².

What will the GFR be for a 70-year-old Asian woman?

The estimated GFR (eGFR) is 71.45 mL/min/1.73 m², assuming that their serum creatinine level (SCr) is 0.83 mg/dL. To calculate it:

  1. Use the CKD-EPI formula:

    eGFR = 141 × min(SCr/k, 1)α × max(SCr/k, 1)-1.209 × 0.993Age × a × b

  2. Specify the coefficients:

    α = -0.329, k = 0.7, a = 1.018, b = 1, SCr = 0.83 mg/dL

  3. Calculate the eGFR:

    eGFR = 71.45 mL/min/1.73 m²

Will drinking water increase my GFR?

No. Scientific studies have not found that higher water intake increases GFR in the long term. It means that drinking more water will not slow the progression of kidney disease.

Bogna Szyk and Dominika Śmiałek, MD, PhD candidate
What marker?
Serum creatinine
Age
Sex
Female ♀️
Ethnicity
Black
Serum Creatinine
mg/dL
eGFR results
CKD-EPI (2009)
mL/min/1.73m²
MDRD
mL/min/1.73m²
eGFR interpretation
eGFR mL/min/1.73m²Kidney function
≥90Normal
60-89Mildly decreased
45-59Mildly to moderately decreased
30-44Moderately to severely decreased
15-29Severely decreased
<15Kidney failure
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