Simultaneous measurement of urinary albumin and total protein may facilitate decision-making in HIV-infected patients with proteinuria

Samarawickrama, A, Cai, M, Smith, E R, Nambiar, K, Sabin, C, Fisher, M, Gilleece, Y and Holt, S G (2012) Simultaneous measurement of urinary albumin and total protein may facilitate decision-making in HIV-infected patients with proteinuria. HIV Medicine, 13 (9). pp. 526-532. ISSN 1468-1293

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We recently showed that a urine albumin/total protein ratio (uAPR) <0.4 identifies tubular pathology in proteinuric patients. In tubular disorders, proteinuria is usually of low molecular weight and contains relatively little albumin. We tested the hypothesis that uAPR is useful in identifying tubular pathology related to antiretroviral use in HIV-infected patients.


We retrospectively identified urine protein/creatinine ratios (uPCRs) in HIV-infected patients. A subset of samples had uPCR and urine albumin/creatinie ratio (uACR) measured simultaneously. We classified proteinuric patients (uPCR >30 mg/mmol) into two groups: those with predominantly 'tubular' proteinuria (TP) (uAPR <0.4) and those with predominantly 'glomerular' proteinuria (GP) (uAPR ≥ 0.4).


A total of 618 of 5244 samples from 1378 patients had uPCR ≥ 30 mg/mmol. uAPRs were available in 144 patients: 46 patients (32%) had TP and 21 (15%) GP; the remainder had uPCR <30 mg/mmol. The TP group had a higher fractional excretion of phosphate compared with the GP group (mean 27% vs. 16%, respectively; P<0.01). Patients with TP were more likely to be on tenofovir and/or a boosted protease inhibitor compared with those with GP. In 18 patients with heavy proteinuria (uPCR >100 mg/mmol), a renal assessment was made; eight had a kidney biopsy. In all cases, the uAPR results correlated with the nephrological diagnosis.


In HIV-infected patients, measuring uAPR may help to identify patients in whom a renal biopsy is indicated, and those in whom tubular dysfunction might be an important cause of proteinuria and which may be related to antiretroviral toxicity. We suggest that this would be useful as a routine screening procedure in patients with proteinuria.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Brighton and Sussex Medical School
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine > RA0643 Communicable diseases and public health > RA0644 Individual diseases or groups of diseases, A-Z > RA0644.A25 AIDS. HIV infections
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Depositing User: Ellen Thomas
Date Deposited: 13 Dec 2013 14:17
Last Modified: 13 Dec 2013 14:17
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