Using CUSUM in real time to signal clinically relevant decreases in estimated glomerular filtration rate

Reyhaneh Zafarnejad, Steven Dumbauld, Diane Dumbauld, Mohammad Adibuzzaman, Paul Griffin, Edwin Rutsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The electronic health record (EHR), utilized to apply statistical methodology, assists provider decision-making, including during the care of chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients. When estimated glomerular filtration (eGFR) decreases, the rate of that change adds meaning to a patient’s single eGFR and may represent severity of renal injury. Since the cumulative sum chart technique (CUSUM), often used in quality control and surveillance, continuously checks for change in a series of measurements, we selected this statistical tool to detect clinically relevant eGFR decreases and developed CUSUMGFR. Methods: In a retrospective analysis we applied an age adjusted CUSUMGFR, to signal identification of eventual ESKD patients prior to diagnosis date. When the patient signaled by reaching a specified threshold value, days from CUSUM signal date to ESKD diagnosis date (earliness days) were measured, along with the corresponding eGFR measurement at the signal. Results: Signaling occurred by CUSUMGFR on average 791 days (se = 12 days) prior to ESKD diagnosis date with sensitivity = 0.897, specificity = 0.877, and accuracy =.878. Mean days prior to ESKD diagnosis were significantly greater in Black patients (905 days) and patients with hypertension (852 days), diabetes (940 days), cardiovascular disease (1027 days), and hypercholesterolemia (971 days). Sensitivity and specificity did not vary by sociodemographic and clinical risk factors. Conclusions: CUSUMGFR correctly identified 30.6% of CKD patients destined for ESKD when eGFR was > 60 ml/min/1.73 m2 and signaled 12.3% of patients that did not go on to ESKD (though almost all went on to later-stage CKD). If utilized in an EHR, signaling patients could focus providers’ efforts to slow or prevent progression to later stage CKD and ESKD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number287
JournalBMC Nephrology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nephrology


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