Fast Five Quiz: Sickle Cell Disease Presentation and Diagnosis

Sophie M. Lanzkron, MD, MHS


September 24, 2021

To determine the need for interventions in sickle cell nephropathy (SCN), accurate estimation of renal function is essential. Unfortunately, there is no tool that provides an accurate measure of eGFR in patients with SCD. This is because creatinine is usually hypersecreted, and once serum creatinine begins to rise, there has already been significant renal damage.

A lower serum creatinine level indicating better renal function may actually be due to glomerular hyperfiltration and supranormal proximal tubule function. Thus, considering serum creatinine alone causes false estimation of renal function.

The current recommendation to detect renal dysfunction is to screen for proteinuria/albuminuria annually, starting at age 10 in people with SCD.

Learn more about the renal manifestations of SCD.


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