Microalbuminuria as a screening tool in cystic fibrosis-related diabetes

Pediatr Pulmonol. 2005 Feb;39(2):103-7. doi: 10.1002/ppul.20124.


The improving longevity of cystic fibrosis (CF) subjects has resulted in an increased prevalence and duration of cystic fibrosis-related diabetes (CFRD). Microvascular complications were reported in CFRD. Microalbuminuria is well-established as a sensitive indicator of progression to diabetic nephropathy in non-CF diabetes, but confounding factors may make it less sensitive for CF subjects. We performed a cross-sectional study to look for the presence of microalbuminuria in samples from 40 CF subjects (34 without diabetes; CFND) attending the Exeter CF Clinic, compared with 43 nondiabetic, non-CF controls. The albumin-creatinine ratio (ACR) was raised in CF subjects both with (P < 0.001) and without (P < 0.0001) diabetes compared to controls. This reflected an increase in urinary albumin and a reduction in urinary creatinine in CF subjects. In single samples, microalbuminuria was present in 66.7%, 32.4%, and 15.4% of subjects in CFRD, CFND, and control groups. Repeat samples showed that 12% of CFND subjects and 17% of CFRD subjects met the criteria for a diagnosis of persistent microalbuminuria. In conclusion, CF subjects, even when not diabetic, have increased urinary albumin excretion due to chronic infection, and reduced urinary creatinine excretion due to low muscle mass. This results in subjects, who are not developing diabetic nephropathy, meeting the conventional criteria for microalbuminuria. We feel that further studies are required to clarify whether this measure is a useful tool to predict progression to diabetic nephropathy in subjects with CFRD.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Albuminuria / complications
  • Albuminuria / diagnosis
  • Albuminuria / urine*
  • Biomarkers / urine
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Creatinine / urine
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Cystic Fibrosis / complications*
  • Cystic Fibrosis / urine
  • Diabetes Mellitus / diagnosis*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / etiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus / urine
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening* / methods
  • Middle Aged
  • Nephelometry and Turbidimetry


  • Biomarkers
  • Creatinine