June 24, 2019
1 min read

Blood metabolites may serve as diagnostic biomarkers for diabetic kidney disease, reduce need for biopsy

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Haiyan Fu

Examining small-molecule metabolites in the blood may serve as an effective alternative to kidney biopsy for the identification of diabetic kidney disease in patients with type 2 diabetes, according to research presented at the American Physiological Society/American Society of Nephrology conference.

Haiyan Fu, MD, PhD, associate professor in the renal division at Southern Medical University in China, told Healio/Nephrology that determining whether or not a patient has—or will develop—diabetic kidney disease is relatively complicated.

“A major purpose of our study was to provide the clinic with more solid evidence or stronger tools to use for diagnosis,” she said. “We found that at different stages of diabetic kidney disease, the features of differentially expressed metabolites are completely distinctive. Therefore, it will be possible to set up a clinical alerting system to monitor the onset and progression of diabetic kidney disease.”

To assess the diagnostic value of metabolomics-based biomarkers for the identification of diabetic kidney disease at various stages, researchers conducted a cohort study of 230 patients. Participants were categorized as healthy adult controls or having type 2 diabetes without kidney diseases, early stage diabetic kidney disease or advanced diabetic kidney disease. Serum metabolomic profiles were compared between the groups, focusing on metabolic disturbances.

Dong Zhou

Researchers identified 83 differential metabolites, with six panels of specific metabolomics-based biomarkers providing areas under the curve of 0.943 to 0.992 for differential diagnosis.

Fu proposed that, since all the participants in the study were Asian, future research should be done for comparisons between other races.

“We believe this study will eventually be greatly beneficial for patients with diabetes,” she said. – by Melissa J. Webb


Fu H and Zhou D. Metabolomics reveals signature of diabetic kidney disease. Presented at: American Physiological Society/American Society of Nephrology Conference; June 23-27, 2019; Charlottesville, VA.

Disclosures: Healio/Nephrology was unable to determine relevant financial disclosures prior to publication.