Introduction: Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is common, occurring in over 10% of individuals globally, and is increasing in prevalence. The limitations of traditional biomarkers of renal dysfunction, such as serum creatinine, have been well demonstrated in the literature. Therefore, augmenting clinical assessment with newer biomarkers, such as serum cystatin C, has the potential to improve disease monitoring and patient care. Areas covered: The present paper assesses the utility and limitations of serum cystatin C as a biomarker for CKD in light of the current literature. Expert opinion: Serum cystatin C has been well established as an early and accurate biomarker of CKD that is particularly helpful in patients for whom creatinine is an inadequate marker or for whom more cumbersome methods of glomerular filtration rate (GFR) measurement are impractical. Current research questions are no longer focused on if, but rather when and how often cystatin C should be used in the evaluation of CKD patients. However, transition of all reagents and estimated GFR equations to the newly established International Standard is critical for developing generalizable data.
- chronic kidney disease
- cystatin C
- estimated glomerular filtration rate