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Methods and reporting of kidney function: A systematic review of studies from sub-Saharan Africa

Fabian J, J
George, J.A
Etheredge, H.R
van Deventer, M
Kalyesubula, R
Wade, A.N
Tomlinson, L.A
Tollman, S
Naicker, S
Globally, chronic kidney disease (CKD) is an emerging public health challenge but accurate data on its true prevalence are scarce, particularly in poorly resourced regions such as sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Limited funding for population-based studies, poor laboratory infrastructure and the absence of a validated estimating equation for kidney function in Africans are contributing factors. Consequently, most available studies used to estimate population prevalence are hospital-based, with small samples of participants who are at high risk for kidney disease. While serum creatinine is most commonly used to estimate glomerular filtration, there is considerable potential bias in the measurement of creatinine that might lead to inaccurate estimates of kidney disease at individual and population level. To address this, the Laboratory Working Group of the National Kidney Disease Education Program published recommendations in 2006 to standardize the laboratory measurement of creatinine. The primary objective of this review was to appraise implementation of these recommendations in studies conducted in SSA after 2006. Secondary objectives were to assess bias relating to choice of estimating equations for assessing glomerular function in Africans and to evaluate use of recommended diagnostic criteria for CKD. This study was registered with Prospero (CRD42017068151), and using PubMed, African Journals Online and Web of Science, 5845 abstracts were reviewed and 252 full-text articles included for narrative analysis. Overall, two-thirds of studies did not report laboratory methods for creatinine measurement and just over 80% did not report whether their creatinine measurement was isotope dilution mass spectroscopy (IDMS) traceable. For those reporting a method, Jaffe was the most common (93%). The four-variable Modification of Diet in Renal Disease (4-v MDRD) equation was most frequently used (42%), followed by the CKD Epidemiology Collaboration (CKD-EPI) equation for creatinine (26%). For the 4-v MDRD equation and CKD-EPI equations, respectively, one-third to one half of studies clarified use of the coefficient for African-American (AA) ethnicity. When reporting CKD prevalence, <15% of studies fulfilled Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes criteria and even fewer used a population-based sample. Six studies compared performance of estimating equations to measured glomerular filtration rate (GFR) demonstrating that coefficients for AA ethnicity used in the 4-v MDRD and the CKD-EPI equations overestimated GFR in Africans. To improve on reporting in future studies, we propose an ‘easy to use’ checklist that will standardize reporting of kidney function and improve the quality of studies in the region. This research contributes some understanding of the factors requiring attention to ensure accurate assessment of the burden of kidney disease in SSA. Many of these factors are difficult to address and extend beyond individual researchers to health systems and governmental policy, but understanding the burden of kidney disease is a critical first step to informing an integrated public health response that would provide appropriate screening, prevention and management of kidney disease in countries from SSA. This is particularly relevant as CKD is a common pathway in both infectious and non-communicable diseases, and multimorbidity is now commonplace, and even more so when those living with severe kidney disease have limited or no access to renal replacement therapy.
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Oxford Academic
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Albuminuria,Kidney function,Chronic kidney disease,Systematic review,Prevalence
Fabian J, George JA, Etheredge HR, van Deventer M, Kalyesubula R, Wade AN, Tomlinson LA, Tollman S, Naicker S. Methods and reporting of kidney function: a systematic review of studies from sub-Saharan Africa. Clin Kidney J. 2019 Aug 19;12(6):778-787. doi: 10.1093/ckj/sfz089.
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