Simple blood tests detect autoimmune kidney disease, help predict prognosis

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.

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

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Blood markers reveal severity of common kidney disease

Aug 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 So ...

Immune drug helps patients with serious kidney disorder

Jul 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 ...

Recommended for you

Ebola vaccine promising in first human trials

10 hours ago

Researchers say they are one step closer to developing an Ebola vaccine, with a Phase 1 trial showing promising results, but it will be months at the earliest before it can be used in the field.

At one month, US Ebola monitors finding no cases

13 hours ago

The U.S. program that requires weeks of monitoring for travelers from African countries with Ebola reaches the one-month mark Thursday. And so far, no cases of the disease have turned up.

EU calls for 5,000 doctors to fight Ebola

13 hours ago

The European Commission called for 5,000 doctors to be sent from EU states to combat west Africa's Ebola epidemic, a European source with knowledge of the matter said on Wednesday.

User comments

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.