New data show suPAR as a risk biomarker of Acute Kidney Injury in New England Journal of Medicine

Thu Jan 30 2020

A study in the New England Journal of Medicine by Hayek Salim S. et al published on Jan. 30, shows that high soluble urokinase receptor (suPAR) levels were associated with incident acute kidney injury in several patient cohorts. 1

“Acute kidney injury is common and has a major effect on morbidity and health care spending. After decades with little progress in the management of kidney disease, we have on our hands a promising new target to prevent acute kidney injury,” Hayek says.3

Hayek says measuring suPAR levels in clinic, which he hopes will be routine in the future, could help providers know when to raise the alarm bells about kidney disease before it starts.
In chronic kidney disease, patients don’t often experience symptoms early on, and by the time conventional measures confirm a diagnosis, damage has already occurred and is often irreversible.3

“This measure could be employed to figure out who’s at the highest risk of disease progression or of kidney-related procedural complications, which is currently difficult to determine in clinical practice” Hayek says.

“Now that we have extensive data on a role for suPAR in causing kidney disease, we can envision using suPAR-reducing therapies in patients at risk of both chronic and acute kidney disease.”3

And those with lower kidney injury risk by suPAR levels could more confidently be approved for important cardiac surgery and other procedures.3

The study results are based upon research using the suPARnostic® products from ViroGates, Denmark.1

The paper was commented in an editorial by Prof. Frank Tacke in New England Journal of Medicine:
“Risk Prediction for Acute Kidney Injury – Super important, now suPAR easy? “ 2

“Acute kidney injury occurs in approximately 10 to 15% of all patients after hospital admission, a figure that increases to as much as 40% after cardiac surgery and to more than 50% in the ICU.
suPAR may not only be a reliable biomarker but might also point toward new types of preventive measures in the future” says Prof. Frank Tacke of Charité hospital in Berlin, Germany.2

Tacke adds that “These observations appear to be potentially exciting and suggest that suPAR by itself, independent of its source, may have roles in the pathogenesis of acute kidney injury.

Elevated suPAR levels in patients in the ICU or in patients seen before elective procedures (e.g., angiography or surgery) should not be simply viewed as a risk indicator for acute kidney injury, but rather should prompt a thorough investigation for acute or chronic coexisting conditions, which will ultimately determine the patient’s prognosis”2

More information here:

The New England Journal of Medicine paper
“Soluble Urokinase Receptor and Acute Kidney Injury”

Editorial in The New England Journal of Medicine
“Risk Prediction for Acute Kidney Injury – Super important, now suPAR easy? “
“New Protein Target could lead to breakthrough in Kidney Injury Prevention”


published suPAR studies in leading medical journals

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