Rapid determination of renal filtration function using an optical ratiometric imaging approach

Weiming Yu, Ruben M. Sandoval, Bruce A. Molitoris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Scopus citations


Glomerular filtration rate (GFR), which measures the amount of plasma filtered through the kidney within a given time, is an essential and clinically important indicator of kidney function. Here, we report a new ratiometric measurement technique based on intravital fluorescence microscopy that allows rapid evaluations of renal function in rodent models. By using this technique, plasma clearance rates of a fluorescent GFR marker can be measured in less than 5 min following a bolus infusion of a fluorescent dye mixture into the bloodstream. The plasma clearance kinetics of the GFR marker showed consistent values when measured in healthy animals at locations both in the kidney and from the skin. In addition, by using this technique, we were able to rapidly determine renal function with acute renal failure animal models and with other animal models where kidney filtration functions were altered. The measured plasma clearance kinetics using this technique correlated with expected changes in kidney function. We found this ratiometric approach offers improved accuracy and speed for quantifying renal function compared with the approach using single fluorescent probes, and the measurement can be done noninvasively from the skin. This approach also offers a high sensitivity for determining plasma clearance rate of a fluorescent compound. This feature is important for rapidly quantifying small differences in plasma clearance when kidney function is changing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)F1873-F1880
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Renal Physiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2007


  • Acute renal failure
  • Dextran
  • GFR
  • Intravital microscopy
  • Ischemia
  • Multiphoton
  • Plasma clearance rate
  • Two-photon excitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology

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