Study finds a novel and more practical way to measure kidney function

June 22, 2018 by Holly Gainer, University of Alabama at Birmingham

Researchers working on a study to improve kidney function measurements have found a way to provide more accurate readings. Using an injectable biomarker, physicians were able to read the actual working capacity of the kidney in a clinical setting in half the time it used to take.

Currently, physicians rely on estimated (or estimated ) to make clinical decisions regarding patient care. Measuring true kidney function is possible; but it is cumbersome, time-consuming and not readily available as it is done only in research settings.

Dana Rizk, M.D., a nephrologist in the Division of Nephrology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, led the effort and published data on the new biomarker in the study, "A Novel Method for Rapid Bedside Measurement of Glomerular Filtration Rate," which was published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Working with colleagues from Indiana University and FAST BioMedical, the researchers tested a new injectable biomarker to measure kidney function in healthy volunteers as well as patients with varying degrees of . The test turned out to be accurate when compared to the gold standard test used in research settings. The GFR measurement required half the time and blood draws, and the results were reproducible and safe. Rizk says this is the first step toward implementing this technology in the clinical setting.

"Having a more accurate reading of kidney function will enable physicians to intervene earlier if the kidneys are beginning to fail," Rizk said. "This new biomarker will prompt us to measure kidney function in special patient populations where estimating formulas are known to be less accurate."

"Additionally, Rizk says it could be applied when measurement of true kidney function is crucial as is the case sometimes prior to , for example," Rizk said. "Finally, it will open doors to scientists' testing new therapeutics to use smaller and earlier changes in GFR as target outcomes."

According to Anupam Agarwal, M.D., director of the Division of Nephrology at UAB, this will be a significant advance in the field of nephrology.

"Currently available biomarkers that are routinely used to diagnose abnormal kidney function, such as blood levels of creatinine, are mostly elevated after significant kidney damage has already been imposed," Agarwal said. "The work by Dr. Rizk and colleagues provides a novel method to determine true by directly measuring glomerular filtration rate in a safe, accurate and reproducible manner. We will be able to detect kidney damage early and potentially test therapeutic interventions to reverse the course of kidney diseases."

The FDA is reviewing the study results to guide future research steps. Rizk says more studies are needed to use the new biomarker in the setting of and to make the test results available without the need for repeated blood draws.

Explore further: Study examines whether marijuana affects kidney function

More information: Dana V. Rizk et al. A Novel Method for Rapid Bedside Measurement of GFR, Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (2018). DOI: 10.1681/ASN.2018020160

Related Stories

Study examines whether marijuana affects kidney function

August 24, 2017
A new study found little evidence that marijuana use affects kidney function in healthy young adults. The analysis appears in an upcoming issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (CJASN).

Model predicts development of chronic kidney disease

November 16, 2017
(HealthDay)—A multivariable model that uses routine laboratory data is able to predict advanced chronic kidney disease after hospitalization with acute kidney injury, according to a study published online Nov. 14 in the ...

More attention needed to results of simple test of kidney function

December 11, 2015
Kidney disease in the United States is both common and under-diagnosed, but two new studies led by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health researchers suggest that paying close attention to results of a simple blood ...

Aerobic exercise found safe for non-dialysis kidney disease patients

July 13, 2017
A new study finds that moderate exercise does not impair kidney function in some people with chronic kidney disease (CKD). The study—the first to analyze the effects of exercise on kidney disease that does not require dialysis—is ...

Chronic kidney disease a recipe for kidney failure? Not necessarily

March 8, 2012
Not all patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) are destined for kidney failure, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society Nephrology (JASN). The findings provide hope that ...

New biomarkers help predict outcomes in diabetic kidney disease

May 8, 2017
A common complication of type 2 diabetes occurs when filters within the kidney are damaged, leading to an abnormal buildup of protein in urine and a decline in kidney function. This condition, called diabetic kidney disease, ...

Recommended for you

Taking the virus out of a mosquito's bite

December 12, 2018
They approach with the telltale sign—a high-pitched whine. It's a warning that you are a mosquito's next meal. But that mosquito might carry a virus, and now the virus is in you. Now, with the help of state-of-the-art technology, ...

Study identifies a key cellular mechanism that triggers pneumonia in humans

December 11, 2018
The relationship between influenza and pneumonia has long been observed by health workers. Its genetic and cellular mechanisms have now been investigated in depth by scientists in a study involving volunteers and conducted ...

Human antibody discovery could save lives from fungal killer

December 11, 2018
A new way to diagnose, treat and protect against stealth fungal infections that claim more than 1.5 million lives per year worldwide has been moved a step closer, according to research published in Nature Communications.

Effect of oral alfacalcidol on clinical outcomes in patients without secondary hyperparathyroidism

December 11, 2018
Treatment with active vitamin D did not decrease cardiovascular events in kidney patients undergoing hemodialysis, according to a research group in Japan. They have reported their research results in the December 11 issue ...

Dialysis patients at risk of progressive brain injury

December 10, 2018
Kidney dialysis can cause short-term 'cerebral stunning' and may be associated with progressive brain injury in those who receive the treatment for many years. For many patients with kidney failure awaiting a kidney transplant ...

Silicosis is on the rise, but is there a therapeutic target?

December 6, 2018
Researchers from the CNRS, the University of Orléans, and the company Artimmune, in collaboration with Turkish clinicians from Atatürk University, have identified a key mechanism of lung inflammation induced by silica exposure, ...


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.