The majority of tests of renal function are interpreted and their results recorded in terms of the values obtained for normal persons. Any one of them yields an estimate of the efficiency of the kidneys at a particular time, but this may be of little prognostic significance, for it is well known that in acute nephritis, acute infections, ureteral obstruction or cardiac failure renal function may be severely depressed and yet with recovery of the patient may return to normal. In chronic renal disease, however, decreasing functional values usually indicate the relentless progress of the condition.
The ideal test of function would give not only an estimate of the degree of loss of renal efficiency but information as to the manner in which the normal physiologic processes have been disturbed. The processes involved in the formation of urine are so complex that no test has been devised by which it
HAYMAN JM, MARTIN JW, MILLER M. RENAL FUNCTION AND THE NUMBER OF GLOMERULI IN THE HUMAN KIDNEY. Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1939;64(1):69–83. doi:10.1001/archinte.1939.00190010079007
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