Association of urinary C-megalin with albuminuria and renal function in diabetes: a cross-sectional study (Diabetes Distress and Care Registry at Tenri [DDCRT 21])

J Nephrol. 2021 Mar 1. doi: 10.1007/s40620-021-00995-2. Online ahead of print.


Background: A urinary biomarker sensitive to glomerular functional or structural changes in diabetic kidney disease is required. This study examined whether urinary C-megalin reflects renal function or albuminuria in diabetes.

Methods: This was a cross-sectional study involving 1576 patients with type 1 or 2 diabetes. The exposure variables were estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) and urinary albumin-to-creatinine ratio (UACR), and the outcomes were urinary C-megalin excretion and concentration. Two-part models were used to examine the associations between eGFR and UACR with urinary C-megalin excretion or concentration.

Results: The UACR was linearly associated with urinary C-megalin excretion (per 100 mg/gCr of UACR; 11.8 fM/gCr [95% CI 8.9-14.7]). There was no association between decreasing eGFR and increasing urinary C-megalin excretion. The UACR was also linearly associated with the urinary C-megalin concentration (per 100 mg/gCr of UACR, 7.7 fM/L [95% CI 5.8-9.6]). At eGFR values > 60 mL/min/1.73 m2, the eGFR and urinary C-megalin concentration were inversely linearly related (per 10 mL/min/1.73 m2 decline, 7.7 fM/L [95% CI 0.2-15.1]).

Conclusion: Urinary C-megalin excretion as well as concentration levels are potentially useful biomarkers to detect early changes in diabetic kidney disease.

Keywords: Biomarker; C-megalin; Diabetes; Diabetic kidney disease; Renal function.