Cystatin C

Method(s): MALDI-TOF MS (1).
What is measured: native cystatin C (CnCn), 3Pro-OH cystatin C (CnCo), cystatin C-desS (CnCds), 3Pro-OH cystatin C-desS (CnCods) and cystatin C-desSSP (CnCdssp). CnCt is the total concentration of detected cystatin C isoforms.

What is measured on the same platform, click here.
Platform G: hsCRP, SAA, Calp, Cys-C

What is cystatin C?

Cystatin C is a non-glycosylated cysteine protease inhibitor with a molecular weight of 13 kDa. It is produced at a constant rate by nucleated cell and freely filtered by the renal glomerulus, and serum cystatin C is an established marker of renal function. Cystatin C is a more specific marker of glomerular filtration rate than creatinine, because levels are independent of age, sex, muscle mass and diet (2). In addition, high cystatin C is associated with elevated risk of death from myocardial infarction, stroke, and metabolic syndrome. Higher levels of cystatin C and the presence of certain isoforms have also been related to neurological and cerebral disorders such as cerebral amyloid angiopathy, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, multiple sclerosis, and Alzheimer’s disease. Cystatin isoforms can be detected both in serum and cerebrospinal fluid and more than a dozen have been reported so far.

Performance of the assay

Lower limit of detection (LOD): 0.003 µg/ml.
Within-day CV, 4-6 %; between-day CV, na.


Assessment of renal function.

Specimen, collection and processing

Matrix: EDTA plasma and serum. Cystatin C is stable for 3 month at -20 °C.
Volume: Minimum volume is 20 µL, but 100 µL is optimal and allows reanalysis.
Preparation: The blood sample must be centrifuged and the plasma/serum fraction put on ice, and frozen.


Cystatin C is stable for 3 month at -20 °C.

Transportation; for general instruction on transportation, click here.

Frozen, on dry ice.

Reported values, interpretation

Reported values: 0-4 µg/ml.
Intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC): na.


1. Gao, J., Meyer, K., Borucki, K., and Ueland, P.M. (2018). Multiplex immuno-MALDI-TOF MS for targeted quantification of protein biomarkers and their proteoforms related to inflammation and renal dysfunction. Anal Chem 90, 3366-373.
2. Ferguson, T.W., Komenda, P., and Tangri, N. (2015). Cystatin C as a biomarker for estimating glomerular filtration rate. Curr Opin Nephrol Hypertens 24, 295-300.