Accuracy of cystatin C for the detection of abnormal renal function in children undergoing chemotherapy for malignancy: a systematic review using individual patient data

Penny Whiting, Kate Birnie, Jonathan A C Sterne, Catherine Jameson, Rod Skinner, Bob Phillips, Cystatin C in Childhood Cancer Collaboration Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


PURPOSE: We conducted a systematic review and individual patient data (IPD) meta-analysis to examine the utility of cystatin C for evaluation of glomerular function in children with cancer.

METHODS: Eligible studies evaluated the accuracy of cystatin C for detecting poor renal function in children undergoing chemotherapy. Study quality was assessed using QUADAS-2. Authors of four studies shared IPD. We calculated the correlation between log cystatin C and GFR stratified by study and measure of cystatin C. We dichotomized the reference standard at GFR 80 ml/min/1.73m2and stratified cystatin C at 1 mg/l, to calculate sensitivity and specificity in each study and according to age group (0-4, 5-12, and ≥ 13 years). In sensitivity analyses, we investigated different GFR and cystatin C cut points. We used logistic regression to estimate the association of impaired renal function with log cystatin C and quantified diagnostic accuracy using the area under the ROC curve (AUC).

RESULTS: Six studies, which used different test and reference standard thresholds, suggested that cystatin C has the potential to monitor renal function in children undergoing chemotherapy for malignancy. IPD data (504 samples, 209 children) showed that cystatin C has poor sensitivity (63%) and moderate specificity (89%), although use of a GFR cut point of < 60 ml/min/1.73m2(data only available from two of the studies) estimated sensitivity to be 92% and specificity 81.3%. The AUC for the combined data set was 0.890 (95% CI 0.826, 0.951). Diagnostic accuracy appeared to decrease with age.

CONCLUSIONS: Cystatin C has better diagnostic accuracy than creatinine as a test for glomerular dysfunction in young people undergoing treatment for cancer. Diagnostic accuracy is not sufficient for it to replace current reference standards for predicting clinically relevant impairments that may alter dosing of important nephrotoxic agents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1635-1644
Number of pages10
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
Issue number5
Early online date6 Dec 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2018
Externally publishedYes

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