Elevated serum-soluble urokinase receptor (suPAR) levels have been described in patients with focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) in several different cohorts. However, it remains unclear whether this is the case for Japanese patients and whether circulating suPAR can be clinically useful as a diagnostic marker. To determine this, we measured serum suPAR levels in 69 Japanese patients with biopsy-proven glomerular diseases in a cross-sectional manner. The serum suPAR levels showed a significant inverse correlation with renal function by univariate (R(2) of 0.242) and multivariate (β=0.226) analyses. Even after excluding patients with renal dysfunction, no significant difference in the suPAR levels was detected among the groups. Receiver operating characteristic analysis and measures of the diagnostic test performance showed that suPAR was not a useful parameter for differentiating FSGS from the other glomerular diseases (AUC-ROC: 0.621), although a small subgroup analysis showed that patients with FSGS, treated with steroids and/or immunosuppressants, had significantly lower suPAR levels. Patients with ANCA-associated glomerulonephritis had significantly higher levels of suPAR compared with the other disease groups, which may be owing to their lower renal function and systemic inflammation. Thus, suPAR levels are significantly affected by renal function and have little diagnostic value even in patients with normal renal function.