Intended for healthcare professionals


Microalbuminuria as predictor of outcome

BMJ 1999; 318 doi: (Published 23 January 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;318:207

Shows promise but large prospective trials are needed

  1. G Evans, Research fellow.,
  2. I Greaves, Research fellow.
  1. Trauma and Surgery Group, Chemical and Biological Defence Sector, Defence Evaluation and Research Agency, Porton Down, Wiltshire SP4 0JQ British Crown Copyright

    Microalbuminuria is used clinically to monitor incipient diabetic nephropathy, but it is known also to be a non-specific marker of inflammation, both systemic and local,13 and appears to be useful as a predictor of outcome in several clinical situations.48 The equipment required to perform the test is small and mobile, each test taking two minutes to perform. Might a test for microalbuminuria provide a simple means of identifying patients whose condition will deteriorate across a range of clinical conditions?

    Microalbuminuria is defined as a urinary albumin concentration of 30-200mg/l. These values are currently detectable by semiquantitative dipstick tests. In healthy volunteers spot testing of urinary albumin shows the mean concentration to be 5.1mg/l, with 95% of samples having a concentration of less than 29.6mg/l, regardless of time of collection.9

    Microalbuminuria is thought to reflect the glomerular component of a systemic capillary leak10 that is fundamental to the pathogenesis of multiple …

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