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Adv Chronic Kidney Dis. 2005 Apr;12(2):202-11.

Predicting the development of diabetic nephropathy and its progression.

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  • 1Division of Nephrology/Hypertension, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL 60611, USA.


Diabetes remains the number one cause of end-stage renal disease worldwide. Only about one third of diabetic patients develop nephropathy, and the risk appears to be, in part, genetically determined. In this article, we review clinical and genetic markers for the development and progression of diabetic nephropathy. Microalbuminuria remains the best available predictor of the subsequent development of nephropathy, even though in recent years it has become clear that less than 50% of individuals with type 1 diabetes progress to overt proteinuria over a period of less than 10 years. It is of great interest for early recognition of risk of nephropathy that small elevations in nighttime blood pressure predict microalbuminuria in type 1 diabetes. Genetic markers for diabetic nephropathy have not been conclusively identified. The occurrence of renal events in diabetic patients, however, appears to be influenced by the angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) genotype, with a dominant deleterious effect of the D allele (D/D or I/D) versus I/I genotype. Some patients with the DD genotype also appear less susceptible to the renoprotective effects of conventional doses of ACE inhibitors, suggesting that ACE genotyping might be useful in selecting those patients that could benefit from higher doses of ACE inhibitors and more aggressive treatment to prevent or delay disease progression.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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