Microalbuminuria: A Urinary Biomarker of Diabetic Kidney Disease

  • Rafiq Ahmad Assistant Professor, Department of Pathology, Islamabad Medical & Dental College Islamabad


Diabetes Mellitus is a chronic metabolic disorder characterized by persistent hyperglycemia and disorders of carbohydrate, protein and lipid metabolism.1 It is expected that by the year 2030, about 552 million people globally will be affected from diabetes mellitus.2 If not well controlled, diabetes mellitus leads to both microvascular and macrovascular complications.2 Diabetic mellitus is the most common cause of diabetes nephropathy that has a momentous impact on quality of life and survival of the patient.1 It is estimated that about 40 % of type I and type II diabetes mellitus develop diabetic kidney disease.2 If not timely diagnosed and properly treated, diabetic nephropathy eventually leads to End stage renal disease that requires dialysis or renal transplantation. Multiple serum and urinary biomarkers are used to diagnose diabetic nephropathy before it is clinically evident.2 Urinary microalbumin has been used as a clinical biomarker of diabetic kidney disease since 1982.4 It is used to screen both type I and type II diabetes mellitus.5 Microalbuminuria results when albumin crosses glomerular filtration barrier due to ultrastructural changes in endothelial glycocalyx.6 Microalbuminuria also represents a marker of systemic endothelial dysfunction with increased risk of cardiovascular and cerebral insults
in patients with diabetes mellitus.7