New urine test could diagnose acute kidney injury

Nov 11, 2010

The presence of certain markers in the urine might be a red flag for acute kidney injury (AKI), according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society Nephrology (JASN). The results suggest that a simple urine test could help prevent cases of kidney failure.

Unlike heart or brain injuries, which show obvious outward signs, physical symptoms are not typically present with AKI. Researchers have been looking for markers of AKI, with the hope that early detection will lead to early therapy to prevent . Richard Zager, MD (Clinical Research Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center) and his colleagues investigated whether certain molecules that are produced during injury and infection might be excreted in the urine and serve as diagnostic markers. Specifically, they measured the diagnostic potential of monocyte chemoattractant protein-1, a protein that plays a role in recruiting to injured or infected sites in the body. This protein has been found in the joints of people with and in the urine of people with lupus.

The investigators found elevated levels of monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 as well as its mRNA (the template for ) in from both mice and human patients with AKI. This suggests that the gene that encodes this mRNA and protein is activated in patients with AKI. Using a new technique, known as chromatin immunoprecipitation assay, the investigators were also able to show changes in proteins (known as histones) that can activate the gene that produces MCP-1. This is the first time that the ability to detect these protein modifiers have been identified in human urine samples.

"This is a new diagnostic test that provides information about what processes are actually inducing acute kidney injury; however, a much larger prospective study is required to ultimately determine clinical utility," said Dr. Zager.

Explore further: Gonorrhoea and syphilis in Norway in 2014

More information: The article, entitled "MCP-1 Gene Activation Marks Acute Kidney Injury" will appear online on November 11 2010, doi:10.1681/ASN.2010060641

Related Stories

New lab test predicts risk of kidney injury after surgery

Mar 12, 2008

A simple laboratory test may provide a new way for doctors to identify patients at risk of developing potentially severe acute kidney injury (AKI) after surgery—up to three days before the problem would otherwise be detected, ...

New lab test helps predict kidney damage

Jul 24, 2009

Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a frequent complication in patients in intensive care. A new laboratory test called urine neutrophil gelatinase associated lipocalin (NGAL) helps predict if patients will develop acute kidney ...

Kidney injury in hospital increases long-term risk of death

Dec 17, 2009

Patients with sudden loss of kidney function, called acute kidney injury (AKI), are more likely to die prematurely after leaving the hospital—even if their kidney function has apparently recovered, according to an upcoming ...

Recommended for you

Time to move Lyme Disease Awareness Month to April?

1 hour ago

The month of May brings many things, among them Mother's Day, tulips, and Lyme Disease Awareness campaigns. But according to Dr. Richard S. Ostfeld, a disease ecologist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem ...

An explanation of wild birds' role in avian flu outbreak

3 hours ago

Wild birds are believed to be behind the first major widespread outbreak of bird flu in the United States, with the virus confirmed in the animals in 10 states. Here are some questions and answers about how wild birds remain ...

Gastroenterology Special Issue confirms: You are what you eat

6 hours ago

Patients are always interested in understanding what they should eat and how it will impact their health. Physicians are just as interested in advancing their understanding of the major health effects of foods and food-related ...

User comments : 0

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.