Urine concentrating defect as presenting sign of progressive renal failure in Bardet-Biedl syndrome patients

Clin Kidney J. 2020 Dec 6;14(6):1545-1551. doi: 10.1093/ckj/sfaa182. eCollection 2021 Jun.


Background: Urine concentrating defect is a common dysfunction in ciliopathies, even though its underlying mechanism and its prognostic meaning are largely unknown. This study assesses renal function in a cohort of 54 Bardet-Biedl syndrome (BBS) individuals and analyses whether renal hyposthenuria is the result of specific tubule dysfunction and predicts renal disease progression.

Methods: The estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), urine albumin:creatinine ratio (ACR) and maximum urine osmolality (max-Uosm) were measured in all patients. Genetic analysis was conducted in 43 patients. Annual eGFR decline (ΔeGFR) was measured in patients with a median follow-up period of 6.5 years. Urine aquaporin-2 (uAQP2) excretion was measured and the furosemide test was performed in patients and controls.

Results: At baseline, 33 (61.1%), 12 (22.2%) and 9 (16.7%) patients showed an eGFR >90, 60-90 and <60 mL/min/1.73 m2, respectively; 27.3% showed an ACR >30 mg/g and 55.8% of patients showed urine concentrating defect in the absence of renal insufficiency. Baseline eGFR, but not max-Uosm, correlated negatively with age. Conversely, truncating mutations affected max-Uosm and showed a trend towards a reduction in eGFR. Max-Uosm correlated with ΔeGFR (P < 0.005), suggesting that urine concentrating defect may predict disease progression. uAQP2 excretion and Na+ and Cl- fractional excretion after furosemide did not differ between hyposthenuric patients and controls, suggesting that specific collecting duct and thick ascending limb dysfunctions are unlikely to play a central role in the pathogenesis of hyposthenuria.

Conclusions: Hyposthenuria is a warning sign predicting poor renal outcome in BBS. The pathophysiology of this defect is most likely beyond defective tubular function.

Keywords: GFR; ciliopathy; genetics; kidney disease; urine osmolality.