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Transplantation. 2013 Aug 27;96(4):394-9. doi: 10.1097/TP.0b013e3182977ab1.

Urine but not serum soluble urokinase receptor (suPAR) may identify cases of recurrent FSGS in kidney transplant candidates.

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Division of Nephrology and Hypertension, Mayo Clinic, 200 First Street SW, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.



Recently, serum soluble urokinase receptor (suPAR) has been proposed as a cause of two thirds of cases of focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS). It was noted to be uniquely elevated in cases of primary FSGS, with higher levels noted in cases that recurred after transplantation. It is also suggested as a possible target and marker of therapy.


We studied serum and urine suPAR from pretransplantation banked samples from 86 well-characterized kidney transplant recipients and 10 healthy controls to determine its prognostic utility. Causes of native kidney disease were primary FSGS, diabetic nephropathy, membranous nephropathy, immunoglobulin A nephropathy, and autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease. suPAR was measured using a commercially available enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay kit. Urinary suPAR was indexed to creatinine.


Both serum and urine suPAR correlated with proteinuria and albuminuria. Serum suPAR was found to be elevated in all transplant candidates with advanced renal disease compared with healthy controls and could not differentiate disease diagnosis. Urine suPAR was elevated in cases of recurrent FSGS compared with all other causes of end-stage renal disease. Recurrent FSGS cases had substantially higher proteinuria compared with all other cases. However, elevated urinary suPAR showed a trend in providing additional prognostic information beyond proteinuria in the small cohort of recurrent FSGS cases.


In advanced renal disease, elevated serum suPAR is not unique to FSGS cases. Urinary suPAR appears to be higher in cases of FSGS destined for recurrence and merits further evaluation.

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