Renal involvement is common in homozygous sickle cell disease (HbSS), including glomerular hypertension and hypertrophy similar to that seen in rodent models of ablative nephrectomy and stage I diabetic nephropathy (DN). The proteinuria in the rodent models is attenuated by angiotensin converting enzyme inhibition (ACEI). Microalbuminuria (MA) is a sensitive marker for renal involvement in DN prior to the development of proteinuria, and is also attenuated with ACEI. Elevated urinary microalbumin/creatinine ratios (U Alb/Cr) > 20 mg/g Cr are reported in 39%-43% of adults with HbSS, and studies are ongoing in this age group to assess the effect of attenuated proteinuria by ACEI on long-term renal function. The purpose of this study was to prospectively investigate the prevalence of MA in children with HbSS and determine factors which affect its expression. U Alb/Cr values were measured on spot urine samples in 102 children (aged 2-18 years, mean 9.47 ± 4.62, M:F = 53:49) by rate nephelometry. Children with prior known proteinuria, hypertension, or fever/pain episode in the last 15 days were excluded. MA was present in 26.5% of all children with HbSS. However, in children between the ages of 10 and 18 years, the prevalence was 46% (similar to the prevalence in adults). There was a strong correlation between patient age and prevalence of MA (P < 0.0001) by both univariate and multivariate analysis. However, pain frequency, hospitalization, transfusion program, ferritin levels, and Cr clearance (C(Cr)) did not correlate with prevalence, although C(Cr) (as estimated by Schwartz formula) was elevated in all. We conclude that the prevalence of MA in the 2nd decade of life is similar to that in adults.
- Angiotensin converting enzyme
- Sickle cell nephropathy