A determination of the glomerular filtration rate (GFR) with high accuracy is of great relevance especially in cases of insufficient kidney function. In nuclear medicine, the standard method is based on blood sample measurements with Cr-51 ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (Cr-51-EDTA) or Tc-99m diethylene-triamine-pentaacetate (Tc-99m-DTPA), providing very high accuracy and reliability. In particular, the slope-intercept method turned out to be the most appropriate and is therefore routinely used in many hospitals worldwide. For this purpose, blood samples are drawn at certain time points starting 120 minutes after injection, which are then measured together with a standard probe in a gamma counter; based on the results, the GFR calculation is then usually performed automatically with an appropriate software. In this chapter, the mathematical background as well as a step-by-step description of the slope-intercept method is given. In our study, we found that at least three blood samples should be drawn in order to achieve highest quality and reliability. Furthermore, a sample size of at least three blood samples allows an error calculation which provides an estimation of the reliability of the preceding measurement.
Part of the book: Glomerulonephritis and Nephrotic Syndrome