Introduction: Hypertension as well as type 2 diabetes mellitus is a major factor in population mortality. Both diseases damage the endothelium, the early sign of which is microalbuminuria, which can be screened by dipstick and can be diagnosed by using immuno-based and high performance liquid chromatography methods. Using high performance liquid chromatography, the non-immunoreactive albumin can be detected as well.
Aims: The authors aimed at the examination of albuminuria in the case of immunonephelometrically negative patients with high performance liquid chromatography, in diabetic and hypertensive and non-diabetic hypertensive populations. The authors also wanted to compare the present (albumin-creatinine ratio: male: > or =2.5 mg/mmol, female: > or =3.5 mg/mmol) and a new criteria of the Heart Outcomes Prevention Evaluation study (patients without diabetes: immunological method, > or =0.7 mg/mmol; high performance liquid chromatography, > or =3.1 mg/mmol; individuals with diabetes: immunological method, > or =1.4 mg/mmol; high performance liquid chromatography, > or =5.2 mg/mmol) of microalbuminuria.
Methods: Examination of fresh urines of 469 microalbuminuria negative patients by dipstick were performed by immunonephelometry. Patients, who were microalbuminuria negative by immunonephelometry as well, were further analyzed by high performance liquid chromatography using the Accumintrade mark Kit, based on size-exclusion chromatography.
Results: Three times higher albuminuria were found with high performance liquid chromatography than with immunonephelometry. The intraindividual coefficient of variation did not differ in the two methods (37 +/- 31% vs. 40 +/- 31%, p = 0.869; immunonephelometry vs. high performance liquid chromatography; mean +/- standard deviation). Using the present criteria for microalbuminuria, 43% of immunonephelometrically negative patients proved to be microalbuminuric by high performance liquid chromatography. Using the new criteria of the Heart Outcomes Prevention Evaluation study, the rate of microalbuminuria positivity among the immunonephelometrically negative patients decreased to 14.5% by high performance liquid chromatography and the decrease in the number of microalbuminuria positive cases by high performance liquid chromatography could be observed mainly in the diabetic and hypertensive group (49% vs. 7.5%), while slighter decrease could be observed in the non-diabetic hypertensive group (37% vs. 26.5%). Applying the traditional criteria, the strongest predictor was the male gender by the logistic regression analysis. In 28% of microalbuminuria negative patients by immunonephelometry the diagnosis of microalbuminuria can be established using high performance liquid chromatography.
Conclusions: Almost in one-third of microalbuminuria negative patients by immunonephelometry the diagnosis of microalbuminuria can be established by high performance liquid chromatography for which diagnosis three constitutive urine examinations are still needed. New criteria determined by the Heart Outcomes Prevention Evaluation study can be used neither in case of diabetic and hypertensive patients, nor in the case of non-diabetic hypertensive patients. The gender as the most important predictor of microalbuminuria cannot be ignored.