Accuracy of Estimated Creatinine in Multistage Ultramarathon Runners

Colin E. Little, Grant S. Lipman, Daniel Migliaccio, David S. Young, Brian J. Krabak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Introduction: Ultramarathon running is increasing in popularity worldwide, as is the growing body of research on these athletes. Multiple studies have examined acute kidney injury through estimated baseline creatinine (Cr) and glomerular filtration rate (GFR). Values are estimated through an age-based formula of GFR and the modification of diet in renal disease (MDRD) equation. However, the accuracy of this practice in a cohort of healthy athletes is unknown. Methods: A prospective analysis of the first 40-km (25-mi) stage of 6-stage 250-km (155-mi) multistage ultramarathons in the Sahara, Namibia, Atacama, and Gobi Deserts. Runners had prerace measured baseline Cr compared to estimated values through age-based estimated GFR and back calculation of Cr through the MDRD equation. Results: Forty-eight participants (27% female, age 39±10 y) had Cr values analyzed. The mean measured Cr was 0.99±0.17, which was 11% higher than an estimated Cr of 0.88±0.14 (P<0.01). Estimated age-based GFR was 95.9±5.8 mL⋅min−1 compared to GFR based on measured Cr and MDRD of 86.1±14.6 (P<0.001). Conclusions: Estimated values of GFR and Cr by standard age-based values and MDRD equation were significantly inaccurate, which would overinflate the incidence of acute kidney injury. Future studies should devise a new model for estimation of baseline Cr that is validated in this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-133
Number of pages5
JournalWilderness and Environmental Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2019


  • acute kidney injury
  • endurance athlete

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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