Improving GFR Estimation in Steady-State and Critically Ill Patients through the Application of Proenkephalin A 119-159 (penKid) in a Novel Formula

Friday, October 06, 2023

SphingoTec GmbH, a diagnostics company, has introduced an improved formula for estimating Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR) using its kidney function biomarker, penKid (1). Their data indicates a strong correlation between penKid and measured GFR (mGFR), surpassing the performance of commonly used GFR estimation equations.

In clinical practice, kidney function assessment traditionally relies on GFR estimates based on creatinine, which is recognized as a late and less sensitive biomarker for GFR. Consensus guidelines emphasize the urgent need for more timely and accurate GFR estimation in cases of Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) (2,3,4).

Researchers from Radboud University Medical Centre in the Netherlands and the Mayo Clinic in the USA took a data-driven approach involving more than 1,300 patients to develop an equation for estimating GFR using the kidney function biomarker penKid (1). Their findings indicate that this novel equation outperforms creatinine-based equations in estimating estimated GFR (eGFR). Importantly, this formula is adaptable and suitable for a diverse patient population, including individuals with established chronic kidney disease and critically ill patients. The study's reliability is further supported by the use of gold-standard methods for determining true mGFR in all patients, with penKid concentrations demonstrating the strongest correlation.

Prof. Peter Pickkers, Head of Research in Intensive Care Medicine at Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, summarized the significance, stating, "The innovative biomarker penKid has demonstrated significant potential in enhancing clinical vigilance and aiding in the management of AKI patients. The penKid-based formula paves the way for its future integration into routine clinical practice, as it provides a more accurate GFR estimation based on penKid concentrations, which can now be embraced by healthcare professionals worldwide."

Dr. Florian Uhle, Medical Director at SphingoTec, added, "This groundbreaking research has successfully established the first formula utilizing penKid for both chronic and acute kidney impairment. Building on this evidence, our focus will be on further validating this formula in critically ill patients and addressing the limitations of current diagnostic standards in AKI management. We eagerly anticipate close collaboration with global healthcare providers to bring this concept to clinical fruition."

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