The present study was aimed at assessing the diagnostic value of urinary albumin (uA) excretion rate in the long-term follow-up of patients suffering from acute post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis (APSGN). 26 patients, who had presented primarily with nephritic syndrome and showing increased uA without a concomitant rise in total proteinuria (uTP) were followed-up for 131 months on average (range 36-288). At the last check, 14 patients did not show urinary abnormalities, 9 had a persistent increase in uA, 1 increased uTP and 2 renal insufficiency. Urinary and clinical signs of the disease were not seen during observation periods prolonged for 79 months on average (range 20-156) after normalization of uA. No pathological findings were remarked in biopsy specimens obtained in 3 patients when uA was normalized; in contrast, when both uTP and uA (12 cases) or when isolated uA (14 cases) were increased a pattern of diffuse mesangial proliferative glomerulonephritis was constantly observed. These results indicate that the abnormal uA excretion rate during long-term follow-up of APSGN allows to identify a subset of patients with persistent renal disease; conversely, the occurrence of normal uA seems to point to a good diagnostic and prognostic significance.
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