Human renal function maturation: a quantitative description using weight and postmenstrual age

Malin M. Rhodin, Brian J. Anderson, A. Michael Peters, Malcolm G. Coulthard, Barry Wilkins, Michael Cole, Etienne Chatelut, Anders Grubb, Gareth J. Veal, Michael J. Keir, Nick H. G. Holford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

314 Citations (SciVal)


This study pools published data to describe the increase in glomerular filtration rate (GFR) from very premature neonates to young adults. The data comprises measured GFR (using polyfructose, Cr-51-EDTA, mannitol or iohexol) from eight studies (n=923) and involved very premature neonates (22 weeks postmenstrual age) to adulthood (31 years). A nonlinear mixed effects approach (NONMEM) was used to examine the influences of size and maturation on renal function. Size was the primary covariate, and GFR was standardized for a body weight of 70 kg using an allometric power model. Postmenstrual age (PMA) was a better descriptor of maturational changes than postnatal age (PNA). A sigmoid hyperbolic model described the nonlinear relationship between GFR maturation and PMA. Assuming an allometric coefficient of 3/4, the fully mature (adult) GFR is predicted to be 121.2 mL/min per 70 kg [95% confidence interval (CI) 117-125]. Half of the adult value is reached at 47.7 post-menstrual weeks (95% CI 45.1-50.5), with a Hill coefficient of 3.40 (95% CI 3.03-3.80). At 1-year postnatal age, the GFR is predicted to be 90% of the adult GFR. Glomerular filtration rate can be predicted with a consistent relationship from early prematurity to adulthood. We propose that this offers a clinically useful definition of renal function in children and young adults that is independent of the predictable changes associated with age and size.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-76
JournalPediatric Nephrology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Medicinal Chemistry
  • Pharmacology and Toxicology


  • Renal function
  • Postmenstrual age
  • Lean body weight
  • Glomerular filtration rate
  • Body composition
  • Allometry
  • Fat-free mass


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