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Kidney injury molecule-1 and microalbuminuria levels in Zambian population: biomarkers of kidney injury

Mildred Zulu
Trevor Kaile
Timothy Kantenga
Chisanga Chileshe
Panji Nkhoma
Musalula Sinkala


Introduction: kidney injury affects renal excretion of plasma analytes and metabolic waste products with grave pathologic consequences. Early detection, thus of kidney injury is essential for injury specific intervention that may avert permanent renal damage and delay progression of kidney injury. We aimed to evaluate Kidney Injury Molecule-1 (KIM-1) and Microalbuminuria (MAU), as biomarkers of kidney injury, in comparison with creatinine. Methods: we compared the levels of urine MAU, urine KIM-1 and other plasma biochemical tests in specimens from 80 individuals with and without kidney disease. Results: we found no difference in KIM-1 levels between the kidney disease group (2.82± 1.36ng/mL) and controls (3.29 ± 1.14ng/mL), p = 0.122. MAU was higher in participants with kidney disease (130.809± 84.744 µg/mL) than the controls (15.983± 20.442µg/mL), p ?0.001. KIM-1 showed a weak negative correlation with creatinine (r = -0.279, p = 0.09), whereas MAU was positively correlated with creatinine in participants with kidney disease with statistical significance (r = 0.556, p = 0.001). Conclusion: the study demonstrated that in Zambian setting MAU and creatinine are sensitive biomarkers in the diagnosis of kidney damage. We moreover propose further evaluation of KIM-1 as a biomarker of kidney injury.

The Pan African Medical Journal 2016;24

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eISSN: 1937-8688