Urine Protein/Creatinine Ratio in Thrombotic Microangiopathies: A Simple Test to Facilitate Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura and Hemolytic and Uremic Syndrome Diagnosis

J Clin Med. 2022 Jan 27;11(3):648. doi: 10.3390/jcm11030648.


Background: Early diagnosis of thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP) versus hemolytic and uremic syndrome (HUS) is critical for the prompt initiation of specific therapies.

Objective: To evaluate the diagnostic performance of the proteinuria/creatininuria ratio (PU/CU) for TTP versus HUS.

Patients/methods: In a retrospective study, in association with the "French Score" (FS) (platelets < 30 G/L and serum creatinine level < 200 µmol/L), we assessed PU/CU for the diagnosis of TTP in patients above the age of 15 with thrombotic microangiopathy (TMA). Patients with a history of kidney disease or with on-going cancer, allograft or pregnancy were excluded from the analysis.

Results: Between February 2011 and April 2019, we identified 124 TMA. Fifty-six TMA patients for whom PU/CU were available, including 35 TTP and 21 HUS cases, were considered. Using receiver-operating characteristic curves (ROC), those with a threshold of 1.5 g/g for the PU/CU had a 77% sensitivity (95% CI (63, 94)) and a 90% specificity (95% CI (71, 100)) for TTP diagnosis compared with those having an 80% sensitivity (95% CI (66, 92)) and a 90% specificity (95% CI (76, 100) with a FS of 2. In comparison, a composite score, defined as a FS of 2 or a PU/CU ≤ 1.5 g/g, improved sensitivity to 99.6% (95% CI (93, 100)) for TTP diagnosis and enabled us to reclassify seven false-negative TTP patients.

Conclusions: The addition of urinary PU/CU upon admission of patients with TMA is a fast and readily available test that can aid in the differential diagnosis of TTP versus HUS alongside traditional scoring.

Keywords: diagnosis; differential; hemolytic-uremic syndrome; proteinuria; purpura; thrombotic microangiopathies; thrombotic thrombocytopenic.