Test predicts who will develop end-stage renal disease

April 8, 2009

Measuring kidney function by assessing two different factors—glomerular filtration rate (GFR) and urinary albumin levels—helps determine which patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) will develop end-stage renal disease (ESRD), according to a study appearing in the May 2009 issue of the Journal of the American Society Nephrology (JASN). This combination test could help physicians identify patients at high risk of serious kidney trouble and allow them to intervene at an early stage.

While there is a high prevalence of CKD worldwide, relatively few individuals with the disease develop ESRD, expected to affect 785,000 people in the U.S. by 2020 (current annual cost: $32 billion). Physicians and researchers have looked for ways to identify which will progress to ESRD in order to target patients most in need of extensive treatment, and help establish clinical guidelines and public health plans for treating patients with CKD.

Stein Hallan, MD, PhD (St. Olav University Hospital, Norway), and his colleagues recently conducted a study to see if combining two tests commonly used to measure might help predict ESRD. One test measures an individual's estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR—a measure of the volume of fluid filtered by the kidneys), while the other measures the amount of albumin (the predominant protein in the blood) that is excreted in urine. A high urinary albumin level indicates a rapid rate of kidney disease progression, and a low eGFR indicates an advanced stage of disease.

The researchers analyzed data from 65,589 adults who participated in the population-based Nord-Trøndelag Health (HUNT 2) Study and found 124 individuals who developed ESRD after more than 10 years of follow-up. Combining urinary albumin and eGFRs results identified more than 65% of patients who would develop this condition. Other factors such as hypertension, diabetes, smoking, obesity, and cardiovascular disease did not provide any additional information that could be used to predict who would develop ESRD.

"We provide clear evidence… that reduced eGFR should always be complemented by information on urine-albumin to yield optimal prediction of the risk of progression to ESRD," said Dr. Hallan. He added that combining these measurements might also help reduce the number of patients referred to specialists without losing the ability to detect future ESRD cases.

"Future risk scores and classification systems based on these two variables will be a simple and powerful tool for improving our ability to efficiently handle the large group of patients with CKD," the authors wrote.

More information: The article, entitled "Combining GFR and Albuminuria to Classify CKD Improves Prediction of ESRD," will appear online at jasn.asnjournals.org/ on April 8, 2009, doi 10.1681/ASN.2008070730.

Source: American Society of Nephrology (news : web)

Related Stories

Recommended for you

H7N9 influenza is both lethal and transmissible in animal model for flu

October 19, 2017
In 2013, an influenza virus that had never before been detected began circulating among poultry in China. It caused several waves of human infection and in late 2016, the number of people to become sick from the H7N9 virus ...

Migraines may be the brain's way of dealing with oxidative stress

October 19, 2017
A new perspective article highlights a compelling theory about migraine attacks: that they are an integrated mechanism by which the brain protects and repairs itself. Recent insightful findings and potential ways to use them ...

Flu simulations suggest pandemics more likely in spring, early summer

October 19, 2017
New statistical simulations suggest that Northern Hemisphere flu pandemics are most likely to emerge in late spring or early summer at the tail end of the normal flu season, according to a new study published in PLOS Computational ...

New insights into herpes virus could inform vaccine development

October 18, 2017
A team of scientists has discovered new insights into the mechanisms of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection, as well as two antibodies that block the virus' entry into cells. The findings, published in Proceedings of the National ...

Pair of discoveries illuminate new paths to flu and anthrax treatments

October 17, 2017
Two recent studies led by biologists at the University of California San Diego have set the research groundwork for new avenues to treat influenza and anthrax poisoning.

Portable 3-D scanner assesses patients with elephantiasis

October 17, 2017
An estimated 120 million people worldwide are infected with lymphatic filariasis, a parasitic, mosquito-borne disease that can cause major swelling and deformity of the legs, a condition known as elephantiasis. Health-care ...

0 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.