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Diabetes Care. 1997 Apr;20(4):516-9.

The receiver operating characteristics curve in the evaluation of a random urine specimen as a screening test for diabetic nephropathy.

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1
Endocrine Unit, Hospital de Clinicas de Porto Alegre, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To assess the performance of measurements of urinary albumin concentration (UAC) and urinary albumin:creatinine ratio (UACR) in a diurnal random urine specimen (RUS) for the screening of diabetic nephropathy.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS:

A total of 95 ambulatory NIDDM patients (49 women, ages 40-75 years) collected 123 RUSs during the morning after completing a timed 24-h urine collection. Albumin was measured by immunoturbidimetry. According to timed urinary albumin excretion rate (UAER) measured in the 24-h collection (criterion standard), samples were classified as normoalbuminuric (UAER < 20 micrograms/min; n = 54), microalbuminuric (UAER 20-200 micrograms/min; n = 44), and macroalbuminuric (UAER > 200 micrograms/min; n = 25). The receiver operating characteristics (ROC) curve approach was used. The ROC curves of UAC and UACR in RUS for screening of microalbuminuria (normo- and microalbuminuric samples; n = 98) and macroalbuminuria (micro- and macroalbuminuric samples; n = 69) were plotted.

RESULTS:

Spearman's coefficients of correlation of 24-h UAER vs. UAC and UACR were 0.91 and 0.92, respectively (P < 0.001). The calculated areas (+/- SE) under the ROC curves to screen microalbuminuria for UAC (0.9766 +/- 0.015) and UACR (0.9689 +/- 0.014) were similar (P > 0.05) as were the corresponding areas for macroalbuminuria (0.9868 +/- 0.0094 and 0.9614 +/- 0.0241, respectively; P > 0.05). The first point with 100% sensitivity and the point of intersection with a 100%-to-100% diagonal for microalbuminuria were as follows: 16.9 and 33.6 mg/l for UAC and 15.0 and 26.8 mg/g for UACR; for macroalbuminuria 174.0 and 296.2 mg/l for UAC and 116.0 and 334.3 mg/g for UACR, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS:

Albumin measurements (UAC and UACR) in an RUS presented almost perfect accuracy for the screening of micro- and macroalbuminuria and UAC measured in an RUS is simpler and less expensive than UACR and UAER. It is suggested as a valid test for use in screening for diabetic nephropathy.

Comment in

  • ACP J Club. 1997 Nov-Dec;127(3):76.
PMID:
9096972
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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