Cystatin C: current position and future prospects

Sophie Séronie-Vivien 1 , 1 , Pierre Delanaye 2 , 2 , Laurence Piéroni 3 , 3 , Christophe Mariat 4 , 4 , Marc Froissart 5 , 5 , Jean-Paul Cristol 6 , 6 , and for the SFBC “Biology of renal function and renal failure” working group
  • 1 Département de Biologie Clinique, Institut Claudius Regaud, Université Paul Sabatier, Toulouse, France
  • 2 Université de Liège, Service de Néphrologie-Dialyse, CHU Sart Tilman, Liège, Belgium
  • 3 Service de Biochimie Métabolique, Groupe Hospitalier Pitié-Salpétrière, AP-HP, Paris, France
  • 4 Service de Néphrologie, Dialyse et Transplantation Rénale, CHU de Saint-Etienne, Saint-Etienne, France
  • 5 Service de Physiologie, Hôpital Européen Georges Pompidou, AP-HP and Faculté de Médecine, Université Paris Descartes, Paris, France
  • 6 Laboratoire de Biochimie, Centre Hospitalo-Universitaire, Montpellier, France


Cystatin C is a low-molecular-weight protein which has been proposed as a marker of renal function that could replace creatinine. Indeed, the concentration of cystatin C is mainly determined by glomerular filtration and is particularly of interest in clinical settings where the relationship between creatinine production and muscle mass impairs the clinical performance of creatinine. Since the last decade, numerous studies have evaluated its potential use in measuring renal function in various populations. More recently, other potential developments for its clinical use have emerged. This review summarises current knowledge about the physiology of cystatin C and about its use as a renal marker, either alone or in equations developed to estimate the glomerular filtration rate. This paper also reviews recent data about the other applications of cystatin C, particularly in cardiology, oncology and clinical pharmacology.

Clin Chem Lab Med 2008;46:1664–86.

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