Creatinine Standardization Program

The Creatinine Standardization Program was created by the NIDDK Laboratory Working Group (that at the time was called the NKDEP Laboratory Working Group or NKDEP) in collaboration with the International Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (IFCC) and the European Communities Confederation of Clinical Chemistry (now called the European Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine) to reduce interlaboratory variation in creatinine assay calibration and therefore enable more accurate estimates of glomerular filtration rate (eGFR).

The program's focus is to facilitate the sharing of information to assist in vitro diagnostic manufacturers, clinical laboratories, and others in the laboratory community with calibrating their serum creatinine measurement procedures to be traceable to isotope dilution mass spectrometry (IDMS). The program also supports manufacturers' efforts to encourage their customers in the laboratory to coordinate use of standardized creatinine methods with implementation of a revised GFR estimating equation appropriate for use with standardized creatinine methods. Communication resources and other information for various segments of the laboratory community are available in the Creatinine Standardization Recommendations section of the website. Also available is a protocol for calibrating creatinine measurements using whole blood devices.

The National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) released a standard reference material (SRM 967 Creatinine in Frozen Human Serum) for use in establishing calibrations for routine creatinine measurement procedures. SRM 967 was validated to be commutable with native serum samples for many routine creatinine procedures and is useful to establish or verify traceability to an IDMS reference measurement procedure. Establishing calibrations for serum creatinine methods using SRM 967 not only provides a mechanism for ensuring more accurate measurement of serum creatinine, but also enables more accurate estimates of GFR. For clinical laboratories interested in independently checking the calibration supplied by their creatinine reagent suppliers/manufacturers, periodic measurement of NIST SRM 967 should be considered for inclusion in the lab's internal quality assurance program. To learn more about SRM 967, including how to purchase it, visit the NIST website. Commutability study results are available on this website.

Calibration traceability may be established or verified based on results for clinical patient samples assayed by IDMS reference measurement procedures listed on the Joint Committee for Traceability in Laboratory Medicine (JCTLM) database. The JCTLM database also lists laboratories that provide reference services.

If you are interested in current Laboratory Working Group activities, please contact Jenna Norton at