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Serum Level Measurements Improve Disease Risk Prediction

By Labmedica International staff writers
Posted on 12 Sep 2017
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Image: Research shows uromodulin is a biomarker not only for kidney disease but also for cardiovascular diseases (Photo courtesy of Shutterstock).
Image: Research shows uromodulin is a biomarker not only for kidney disease but also for cardiovascular diseases (Photo courtesy of Shutterstock).
Results obtained by using a commercially available uromodulin ELISA kit to analyze serum samples from individuals at risk for heart and circulatory system diseases indicated that this kidney-specific protein is a biomarker not only for kidney disease but also for cardiovascular diseases.

The glycoprotein uromodulin, also known as Tamm-Horsfall protein (THP), is synthesized exclusively in the kidneys and subsequently secreted. Low uromodulin concentrations in serum are a sensitive indicator for a loss of kidney function and thus play a role in the diagnosis of various renal diseases (nephropathies). When renal function is impaired, the uromodulin concentration in the serum sinks rapidly. Therefore, renal functional disorders can be identified at a very early stage of kidney damage, even in cases with few symptoms.

A team of German investigators used the EUROIMMUN AG (Luebeck, Germany) uromodulin ELISA kit to analyze more than 3,000 serum samples obtained from participants of the Ludwigshafen Risk and Cardiovascular Health (LURIC) study, who had been monitored over a period of 10 years on average.

Results revealed that higher serum uromodulin concentrations were associated with a favorable metabolic profile, lower prevalence rates of arterial hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and heart failure and a lower risk for 10-year mortality. The association with reduced mortality was independent of other cardiovascular risk factors. Thus, adding serum uromodulin concentration to established cardiovascular risk prediction scores improved risk prediction.

“Cardiovascular diseases are a major consequence of kidney damage. Many patients die from these diseases before they become dialysis dependent. By measuring uromodulin in blood we can assess the decline in kidney function as well as its effect on heart function,” said associate author Dr. Winfried März, scientific director of the LURIC study and medical professor at Heidelberg University, Germany.

The uromodulin ELISA study was published in the July 27, 2017, issue of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.


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