Randox Reagents are Supporting World Kidney Day 2018
On 8th March 2018, Randox Reagents are supporting World Kidney Day! World Kidney Day is an annual campaign and partnership to raise awareness of the importance of our kidneys to our overall health and to reduce the frequency and impact of kidney disease and its associated health problems worldwide.
This year, the World Kidney Day theme is: “Kidney Disease and Women’s Health: Include, Value, Empower”. Chronic kidney disease affects approximately 195 million women worldwide and it is currently the 8th leading cause of death in women, with close to 600,000 deaths per year.
Chronic kidney disease in women has increased over the years. Women over the age of 50 and African American women have seen the highest rise of kidney failure. This has been attributed to obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure. It is important that women are screened for renal impairment as although treatment of kidney disease in men and women are the same, the complications associated with renal impairment in women is greater than in men. The complications women are faced with due to renal impairment include: irregular periods, diminished sex drive and difficulties conceiving. Whilst it is difficult for a woman with renal impairment to conceive, it is not impossible, however, 50% of babies born to women on dialysis survived with most being born prematurely due to high blood pressure. There are several measures that women can take to reduce their likelihood of developing renal impairment or manage their symptoms including; lifestyle changes, medication to control associated problems, dialysis and kidney transplant.
The standard marker for renal functional is creatinine as creatinine clearance gives a measure of the glomerular filtration rate (GFR), however, creatinine levels are unreliable in individuals who are obese, malnourished, have liver cirrhosis or reduced muscle mass. Due to this, Randox developed an automated test for Cystatin C, a superior marker of kidney dysfunction.
The Randox Cystatin C assay
Cystatin C is a small (13kDa) cysteine proteinase inhibitor that is produced at a constant rate by all nucleated cells. The small molecular weight of cystatin C allows it to be completely removed and broken down by the kidneys. Therefore, levels remain steady if the kidneys are working efficiently and the Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR) is normal.
There are several studies that have documented the superiority of cystatin C compared to creatinine as a marker of GFR function. Unlike creatinine, cystatin C does not have a ‘blind area’ meaning it is extremely sensitive to very small changes in GFR and therefore capable of detecting early reductions in GFR. Up to 50% of renal function can be lost before significant creatinine levels are detected. GFR estimates based on cystatin C are less influenced by diet or muscle mass compared to GFR estimates based on creatinine, therefore, Cystatin C is also beneficial if the patient is overweight, elderly or has a lot of muscle mass. Cystatin C is also beneficial if previous kidney function tests were inconclusive.
World Kidney Day and Randox are working towards improving healthcare globally. With continuous investment into R&D, Randox are striving to develop the earliest biomarker for renal function to prevent serious complications.