A study has revealed that measuring three biomarkers in a single blood sample might improve physicians' ability to identify patients at high risk of developing chronic kidney disease (CKD).
"Our results identify biomarkers that can improve CKD risk prediction," comments Caroline S. Fox, MPH of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute's Framingham Heart Study, Framingham, Mass.
The study included more than 2,300 participants in the Framingham Offspring Study, a long-term follow-up study of heart disease risk factors and outcomes. All participants had normal kidney function when they provided blood samples in 1995-98. An average of 9.5 years later, nine percent of patients had developed CKD. Another eight percent had high levels of protein in the urine (macroalbuminuria) at follow-up-a key sign of deteriorating kidney function
Stored blood samples from 1995-98 were tested to see if any of six different biomarkers could predict which patients were most likely to develop CKD.
A combination of three biomarkers significantly improved the ability to identify patients at high risk of CKD, including homocysteine, a marker of atherosclerosis risk, and aldosterone, a hormone that affects salt handling by the kidneys. The same two biomarkers also predicted the risk of macroalbuminuria, as did B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP)-an indicator of heart damage in patients with heart failure.
The study appears in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.