Serum-soluble urokinase receptor levels do not distinguish focal segmental glomerulosclerosis from other causes of nephrotic syndrome in children

Kidney Int. 2014 Mar;85(3):649-58. doi: 10.1038/ki.2013.546. Epub 2014 Jan 15.


In this prospective study, we measured serum levels of the soluble urokinase receptor (suPAR) in pediatric patients with nephrotic syndrome of various etiologies. Mean levels of suPAR were 3316 pg/ml in 99 patients with steroid-resistant focal segmental glomerulosclerosis and 3253 pg/ml in 117 patients with biopsy-proven minimal change disease, which were similar to that of 138 patients with steroid-sensitive nephrotic syndrome (3150 pg/ml) and 83 healthy controls (3021 pg/ml). Similar proportions of patients in each group had suPAR over 3000 pg/ml. Compared with controls, suPAR levels were significantly higher in patients with focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) and estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) under 30 ml/min per 1.73 m(2) (6365 pg/ml), congenital nephrotic syndrome (4398 pg/ml), and other proteinuric diseases with or without eGFR under 30 ml/min per 1.73 m(2) (5052 and 3875 pg/ml, respectively; both significant). There were no changes following therapy and during remission. Levels of suPAR significantly correlated in an inverse manner with eGFR (r=-0.36) and directly with C-reactive protein (r=0.20). The urinary suPAR-to-creatinine ratio significantly correlated with proteinuria (r=0.25) in 151 patients and controls. Using generalized estimating equations approach, serum suPAR significantly correlated with eGFR (coefficient=-13.75), age at sampling (2.72), and C-reactive protein (39.85). Thus, serum suPAR levels in nephrotic syndrome are similar to controls, and do not discriminate between FSGS, minimal change disease, or steroid-responsive illness.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • C-Reactive Protein / analysis
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate
  • Glomerulosclerosis, Focal Segmental / blood*
  • Glomerulosclerosis, Focal Segmental / drug therapy
  • Glomerulosclerosis, Focal Segmental / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Nephrotic Syndrome / blood*
  • Nephrotic Syndrome / etiology
  • Nephrotic Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Proteinuria / urine
  • Receptors, Urokinase Plasminogen Activator / blood*


  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Receptors, Urokinase Plasminogen Activator
  • C-Reactive Protein