Simple blood tests detect autoimmune kidney disease, help predict prognosis

September 6, 2012

Simple blood tests could help physicians decide which patients with a particular autoimmune kidney disease can forgo potentially toxic medications and which need to be treated, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN).

Idiopathic membranous nephropathy is an autoimmune that leads to in at least half of patients if left untreated. is effective, but toxic. "It is unclear who should be treated, when treatment should be started, and how long treatment should be continued. We need better tools to aid decision-making," said Julia Hofstra, MD, PhD (Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Center, in The Netherlands).

Researchers have recently identified antibodies—called antiPLA2R —that form and damage the kidneys when the disease develops. Clinicians do not have a standard technique for measuring these autoantibodies nor do they know whether autoantibody levels provide any information about the severity of patients' disease.

Hofstra, in collaboration with Hanna Debiec, PhD (Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale, in France), Paul Brenchley, PhD (University of Manchester, in the United Kingdom), and others compared two different blood tests (called IIFT and ELISA) to measure antiPLA2R autoantibodies in 117 patients with idiopathic membranous nephropathy.

Among the major findings:

  • 74% of patients tested positive for antiPLA2R antibodies by IIFT and 72% tested positive by ELISA.
  • Concordance between both tests was excellent, with 94% agreement.
  • Antibody levels significantly correlated with the severity of patients' disease.
  • Spontaneous remissions occurred much less frequently among patients with high antibody levels (38% versus 4% in the lowest and highest groups, respectively).
The findings reveal high agreement between IIFT and ELISA measurements of antiPLA2R antibody levels and highlight the important role of these antibodies in idiopathic membranous nephropathy, given the relationships between antiPLA2R levels, disease severity, and remission rates.

"The data provide hope that in the near future, antiPLA2R antibodies can be detected with a simple assay and measuring the may improve optimal treatment in patients with idiopathic membranous nephropathy," said Dr. Hofstra.

Explore further: Blood markers reveal severity of common kidney disease

More information: The article, entitled "Antiphospholipase A2 Receptor Antibody Titer and Subclass in Idiopathic Membranous Nephropathy," will appear online on September 6, 2012, doi: 10.1681/ASN.2012030242

Related Stories

Blood markers reveal severity of common kidney disease

August 16, 2012

Increasing blood levels of particular proteins may act as warning signs for patients with one of the most common diseases of the kidney, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society ...

Immune drug helps patients with serious kidney disorder

July 19, 2012

A drug commonly used to treat immune disorders such as lymphoma and arthritis also benefits patients with an immune disorder of the kidneys that can lead to kidney failure, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue ...

Why some kidney disease patients can't repair blood vessels

October 27, 2011

In some kidney diseases, patients have high blood levels of a protein that blocks blood vessel repair, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society Nephrology (JASN). Inhibiting ...

Recommended for you

Zika virus infection alters human and viral RNA

October 20, 2016

Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine have discovered that Zika virus infection leads to modifications of both viral and human genetic material. These modifications—chemical tags known as ...

Food-poisoning bacteria may be behind Crohn's disease

October 19, 2016

People who retain a particular bacterium in their gut after a bout of food poisoning may be at an increased risk of developing Crohn's disease later in life, according to a new study led by researchers at McMaster University.

Neurodevelopmental model of Zika may provide rapid answers

October 19, 2016

A newly published study from researchers working in collaboration with the Regenerative Bioscience Center at the University of Georgia demonstrates fetal death and brain damage in early chick embryos similar to microcephaly—a ...

Scientists uncover new facets of Zika-related birth defects

October 17, 2016

In a study that could one day help eliminate the tragic birth defects caused by Zika virus, scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have elucidated how the virus attacks the brains of newborns, ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.