Microalbuminuria: It's Significance, risk factors and methods of detection
Background: Microalbuminuria, though a relevant screening tool worldwide, is scarcely reported with very sparse literature in our setting. Microalbuminuria is a marker of early renal involvement, compare to routine serum creatinine and electrolytes changes in hypertension and diabetes mellitus. This article attempts to review the significance, risk factors and methods of detection of Microalbuminuria.
Methods: Available publications from local and international journals in addition to Medline and Google search, particularly for local references were utilized. Other sources of our data included dissertations from the library of National post graduate medical college and text books of pediatric nephrology.
Results: Microalbuminuria is used extensively in diabetes mellitus as a sensitive test for the detection of preclinical kidney dysfunction prior to the development of overt proteinuria, and as a predictor of subsequent diabetic nephropathy. It has been found to be an important prognostic indicator in meningitis, malignancy and hypertension. It has been found to be useful in the monitoring of patients with renal scarring, unilateral nephrectomy and diabetes mellitus. It is also an important marker of glomerular injury, particularly in patients with sickle cell anaemia.
Conclusion: Microalbuminuria is an early maker of glomerular injury. It is important as a screening tool in a variety of disease conditions. Screening may be performed with a semi quantitative assay. If the screen is positive, UAE should be evaluated by a quantitative assay.
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