Keeping your kidneys healthy
Accurate kidney function evaluations are an essential part of staying healthy, especially if you have high blood pressure, diabetes or chronic kidney disease (CKD).
The Kidney Function Evaluation Center at Tufts Medical Center in Boston offers comprehensive testing and assessment services to measure the level of your kidney function.
We use cutting-edge research to measure your glomerular filtration rate (GFR). GFR is widely accepted as the best index of kidney function. Precise values can help your physician to develop a treatment plan that's tailored to your specific needs. For example, oncologists sometimes use GFR measurements to personalize a safe, effective dose of chemotherapy medications.
What happens during a kidney function evaluation?
We use several methods for measuring your GFR levels. In most cases, we calculate GFR by measuring how quickly your body "clears" iohexol, a harmless contrast agent that includes iodine, from your system. First, we give you an injection of iohexol, and then we test your blood at regular intervals over the next four to six hours.
Between tests, you can relax in one of our consultation rooms, equipped with comfortable lounge chairs and a DVD player. You can also visit the Tufts MC gift shop or stop by one of our many on-campus eateries.
We also estimate GFR by measuring the levels of creatinine and cystatin C in your blood using equations developed by Tufts MC physicians. Cystatin C is a new blood marker for kidney function, and measuring it along with creatinine may be more accurate than traditional GFR markers.
During your visit, we may also check your blood pressure or conduct a urinalysis to measure the amount of protein in your urine. After the test, we'll provide a detailed report to you as well as your referring physician to help fine-tune your ongoing care plan.
Meet Dr. Lesley Inker, a kidney health pioneer
Program Director Lesley Inker, MD is a recognized leader in the field of kidney function evaluation. She has authored more than 100 publications on kidney health.
In 2009, Dr. Inker and Nephrology Division Chief Andrew Levey, MD, were Principal Investigators in the Chronic Kidney Disease Epidemiology Collaboration (CKD-EPI). This joint effort, funded by the National Institutes of Health, used pooled patient data to study and improve GFR measurement. The CKD-EPI team developed the cutting-edge GFR tests and formulas used at Tufts MC — and around the world.