Decrease in urinary creatinine in acute kidney injury influences diagnostic value of urinary biomarker-to-creatinine ratio in rats

Yutaka Tonomura, Takeki Uehara, Emi Yamamoto, Mikinori Torii, Mitsunobu Matsubara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Recent research has revealed several useful urinary biomarkers of renal dysfunction such as acute kidney injury (AKI). For adequate evaluation of altered urinary biomarkers, it is necessary to consider the influence of varied urine flow rate (UFR). Calculation of the excretion rate of a urinary biomarker (UFR-correction) is the gold standard for the correction of UFR variation. An alternative method that is widely used is to calculate the ratio of the biomarker level to urinary creatinine (Ucr-correction). To date, the equivalence between these two methods has been examined only in a steady state situation such as diabetic nephropathy, and the urinary biomarkers examined have been limited to proteinuria and albuminuria. Therefore, we comprehensively addressed the relationship between Ucr-correction and UFR-correction of ten urinary biomarkers N-acetyl-β-d-glucosaminidase (NAG), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), total protein, albumin, kidney injury molecule-1, neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin, clusterin, β2-microglobulin, cystatin-c and glutathione S-transferase-α in non-steady state situations such as AKI. All ten urinary biomarkers showed larger amplitude increases in AKI by Ucr-correction than by UFR-correction in linear regression analysis. Moreover, receiver operating characteristic curves analysis suggested that, at least for the biomarkers NAG and LDH, Ucr-correction had higher diagnostic power than UFR-correction. We observed a decrease in the Ucr excretion in AKI that was accompanied by a reduction in creatinine clearance and reduced mRNA expression of the renal organic cation transporter-2, which is known to function as a transporter for creatinine. These results may provide a mechanistic explanation for the phenomena obtained in Ucr-correction. In conclusion, while Ucr-correction could overestimate the degree of AKI, it could also provide higher diagnostic power for AKI than UFR-correction. We should take into consideration of these backgrounds when using the Ucr-correction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-248
Number of pages8
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Dec 18


  • Acute kidney injury
  • Correction
  • Urinary biomarker
  • Urinary creatinine
  • Urine flow rate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology


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