Objective: To quantify the incidence of abnormalities in urinalysis and blood pressure from preschool children and their predictive value in detecting renal disease within an Australian community.
Methodology: Urine samples, blood pressure and height measurements and parental reports of significant medical problems were collected from a total of 9355 South Australian preschool children. Seven hundred and forty-three children with abnormal results were investigated in a nephrology outpatient clinic. A control group of 357 children with no detectable abnormality were also recalled, examined and, where appropriate, investigated.
Results: Nine thousand, three hundred and fifty-five children were tested. Of these, 0.81% were shown to have a clinically significant renal tract abnormality. The findings included children with urinary tract infections, vesico-ureteric reflux, glomerular disease, renal calculi, essential hypertension and a renal neoplasm. While dipstick-based methods were the most specific indicators of renal tract abnormalities, measurement of blood pressure and urinary beta2-microglobulin were also important in detecting abnormalities. Screening for glycosuria did not result in the detection of significant undiagnosed abnormalities. In the control group with no abnormality detected at testing, there was one case each of aortic coarctation, polycystic kidney disease and vesico-ureteric reflux diagnosed.
Conclusion: Undiagnosed renal tract abnormalities are present in many Australian preschool children. Most are detectable by a thorough history, examination and urinalysis.