Date of Award
Senior Honors Thesis
College or School
Molecular, Cellular, and Biomedical Sciences
Program or Major
Biomedical Sciences: Medical Laboratory Sciences
Bachelor of Science
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is associated with high morbidity and mortality and has high and increasing incidence worldwide. CKD is characterized by a reduction in glomerular filtration rate (GFR), but as GFR is difficult to measure directly, estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) equations have been created to measure serum creatinine levels as a function of GFR. Some eGFR equations contain a racial multiplier that increases the eGFR of black patients, causing a spurious increase in reported kidney function. This study included a literature search that collected information on the rationale behind the multipliers usage and a survey that gathered information about healthcare professionals’ reception of the racial multiplier’s use. Use of the multiplier across the globe was found to be inconsistent. The survey found that there are many hospital systems across the US that report the racial multiplier and varying opinions among healthcare providers about its use. Applying the racial multiplier increases the eGFR of a patient by 16-21%, which may categorize a patient as being at a less severe stage of CKD than appropriate. The lack of consistency in the application of the racial multiplier, coupled with the understanding that race is not a biological characteristic, contraindicates its inclusion in a diagnostic algorithm. Inappropriate use of the racial multiplier causes delay to necessary treatments for affected patients. The inability to sort people into discrete racial categories on biological lines and lack of studies definitively supporting the racial multiplier calls for reevaluation of its use.
Spooner, Brittney A., "Estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate and the Racial Multiplier: Clinical Implications and Current Attitudes" (2021). Honors Theses and Capstones. 556.
Bioethics and Medical Ethics Commons, Community Health Commons, Community Health and Preventive Medicine Commons, International Public Health Commons, Medicine and Health Commons, Nephrology Commons, Other Medicine and Health Sciences Commons, Race and Ethnicity Commons