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There are a number of methods of evaluating renal function, including measurements of glomerular filtration, renal plasma flow, tubular function, micro- and macroalbuminuria and urinary sediment. Of these, microalbuminuria, glomerular filtration and renal plasma flow are the most appropriate.Calcium antagonists have important effects on renal function, including a reduction in renal vasoconstriction, increased renal blood flow and, in some circumstances, reduced protein excretion. In particular, these agents can reverse the mild renal vasoconstriction that is seen in the offspring of hypertensive patients. The renal effects of calcium antagonists have been studied in animal models, where radioimaging techniques have shown a biphasic haemodynamic response.Two important beneficial effects of calcium antagonists are prevention of acute renal failure and protection against cyclosporin nephrotoxicity. Calcium antagonists have thus been used therapeutically in renal transplant patients and in patients with acute renal failure secondary to the effects of nephrotoxic agents.