Urine test could help clinicians spot blood clots in at-risk patients

May 18, 2014

A new study by researchers from California and Canada indicates a simple urine test can indicate the presence of venous thromboembolism, a blood clot that has broken free from its point of origin and which travels through the bloodstream, eventually lodging in a vein. The test evaluates the levels of fibrinopeptide B (FPB), a small peptide that's released when a thrombosis forms and which is removed from the body through urine.

The results of the study will be presented at the American Thoracic Society's 2014 International Conference here.

Study lead author Timothy Fernandes, M.D., M.P.H., said the study was developed based on the results of a pilot trial that suggested that FPB levels could be used as a screening tool for venous thromboembolism in patients at risks for clots.

"The urine FPB test offers advantages over other screening methods because it doesn't require to be drawn and it can provide more accurate results than the D-dimer test," Fernandes said.

The D-dimer test looks for blood evidence of a protein fragment called D-dimer that is present in the blood after a clot begins to break down. The FPB test has the potential for greater specificity because it can reflect ongoing clot activity, while D-dimer can only be measured once a clot has already become degraded.

"During our study, we validated the sensitivity, specificity and likelihood ratios for several diagnostic thresholds of urine FPB using stored urine samples from the Fernandes said.

The researchers used stored urine samples taken from 344 patients who participated in the Pulmonary Embolism Diagnosis Study (PEDS), a multicenter study of 1,417 patients considered likely to have an acute pulmonary embolism. For all , the researchers measured the FPB concentration and evaluated the sensitivity and specificity of the test at various cut-off points in relation to its ability to predict the presence of venous thromboembolism.

What they found was at concentrations of 2.5 ng/ml, urine FPB demonstrated sensitivity comparable to previously published values for plasma latex and whole blood D-dimer levels, but with greater specificity.

"The results of our study indicate that urine FPB tests may be a useful complement to current biomarkers such as D-dimer to measure for the presence and activity of venous thromboembolism," Dr. Fernandes said. "As an addition to other types of testing, FPB urine provides greater specificity and doesn't require a blood draw, which can be a major boon to patients."

The patent for the urine fibrinopeptide B test is held by the University of California Board of Regents. Dr. Fernandes and his co-authors plan on developing a urine dipstick for FBP that could be quickly and widely applied.

Future studies are planned to assess urine fibrinopeptide B in other settings where D-dimer is used including use of urine fibrinopeptide after anticoagulation to determine the risk of recurrent .

Explore further: D-dimer plasma level: A reliable marker for venous thromboembolism after craniotomy

More information: Urine Fibrinopeptide B As A Screening Test For Acute Pulmonary Embolism , Scientific Abstract , 18.08 - Pulmonary Embolism: Acute and Chronic (PC), T.M. Fernandes1, D. De Santis1, P.G. Chiles1, J.J. Marsh1, P.S. Wells2, T.A. Morris1; 1University of California, San Diego - La Jolla, CA/US, 2The Ottawa Hospital and the University of Ottawa - Ottawa, ON/CA

Related Stories

D-dimer plasma level: A reliable marker for venous thromboembolism after craniotomy

August 6, 2013
The D-dimer test is often used to rule out the presence of venous thromboembolism; however, the test has been considered unreliable in postoperative patients because D-dimer levels may rise after surgery. Researchers from ...

Study examines use of age-adjusted D-dimer levels to exclude lung blood clots

March 18, 2014
Using a patient's age to raise the threshold for an abnormal result of a blood test used to assess patients with a suspected pulmonary embolism (blood clot in lungs) appeared to be safe and led to fewer healthy patients with ...

Simple urine test detects common causes of kidney dysfunction after transplantation

March 6, 2014
A new noninvasive urine test can distinguish among different causes of acute kidney dysfunction after transplantation. The test, which is described in a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American ...

'Risk calculator' developed for venous thromboses

August 14, 2013
In Austria, around 15,000 people a year develop a venous thrombosis, the occlusion of a vein that can result in a pulmonary embolism. A clot breaks free from a vein and travels via the bloodstream to the lungs, where it blocks ...

Researchers say urine dipstick test is accurate predictor of renal failure in sepsis patients

May 14, 2012
Henry Ford Hospital researchers have found that the presence of excess protein in a common urine test is an effective prognostic marker of acute renal failure in patients with severe sepsis.

Three DNA methylation markers ID recurrence in bladder cancer

April 2, 2014
(HealthDay)—For patients with noninvasive urothelial carcinoma, three DNA methylation markers are able to accurately predict tumor recurrence, according to a study published in the April 1 issue of Clinical Cancer Research.

Recommended for you

Researchers develop treatment to reduce rate of cleft palate relapse complication

September 22, 2017
Young people with cleft palate may one day face fewer painful surgeries and spend less time undergoing uncomfortable orthodontic treatments thanks to a new therapy developed by researchers from the UCLA School of Dentistry. ...

Exosomes are the missing link to insulin resistance in diabetes

September 21, 2017
Chronic tissue inflammation resulting from obesity is an underlying cause of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. But the mechanism by which this occurs has remained cloaked, until now.

Thousands of new microbial communities identified in human body

September 20, 2017
A new study of the human microbiome—the trillions of microbial organisms that live on and within our bodies—has analyzed thousands of new measurements of microbial communities from the gut, skin, mouth, and vaginal microbiome, ...

Study finds immune system is critical to regeneration

September 20, 2017
The answer to regenerative medicine's most compelling question—why some organisms can regenerate major body parts such as hearts and limbs while others, such as humans, cannot—may lie with the body's innate immune system, ...

Immune cells produce wound healing factor, could lead to new IBD treatment

September 20, 2017
Specific immune cells have the ability to produce a healing factor that can promote wound repair in the intestine, a finding that could lead to new, potential therapeutic treatments for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), according ...

As men's weight rises, sperm health may fall

September 20, 2017
(HealthDay)—A widening waistline may make for shrinking numbers of sperm, new research suggests.

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.