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Urine test may help identify early stage kidney failure

Category: Kidney Diseases

A recent study has reportedly found that high levels of proteinuria, or protein in the urine, may help doctors identify people who are at a risk of kidney failure, leading researchers to recommend that a test be included into new medical guidelines that are expected to be released in the summer of 2011, according to Health Day.

"Right now, the guidelines say you should use a blood test called serum creatinine to give you an estimate of how well the kidneys are working," said study author Brenda Hemmelgarn. "We found that including another marker of kidney health - the level of protein in the urine - helps to better predict risk than that single measure."

Currently, chronic kidney disease is identified by studying levels of estimated glomerular filtration (eGFR), which indicate the likelihood of kidney failure.

Researchers from the University of Calgary looked at eGFR and proteinuria levels of nearly 1 million adults and found that higher rates of kidney failure were more closely associated with increased levels of protein in the urine.

Hemmelgarn and her colleagues believe that their findings may lead to more timely diagnoses in people afflicted with early stage kidney disease.

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