Cellular basis of diabetic nephropathy: 1. Study design and renal structural-functional relationships in patients with long-standing type 1 diabetes

M. Luiza Caramori, Youngki Kim, Chunmei Huang, Alfred J. Fish, Stephen S. Rich, Michael E. Miller, Greg Russell, Michael Mauer

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146 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study was designed to elucidate the cellular basis of risk of or protection from nephropathy in patients with type 1 diabetes. Entry criteria included diabetes duration of ≥8 years (mean duration, 22.5 years) and glomerular filtration rate (GFR) > 30 mi · min-1 · 1.73 m-2. Patients were classified, on the basis of the estimated rate of mesangial expansion, as "fast-track" (upper quintile) or "slow-track" (lower quintile). A total of 88 patients were normoalbuminuric, 17 were microalbuminuric, and 19 were proteinuric. All three groups had increased glomerular basement membrane (GBM) width and mesangial fractional volume [Vv(Mes/glom)], with increasing severity from normoalbuminuria to microalbuminuria to proteinuria but with considerable overlap among groups. Vv(Mes/glom) (r = 0.75, P < 0.001) and GBM width (r = 0.63, P < 0.001) correlated with albumin excretion rate (AER), whereas surface density of peripheral GBM per glomerulus [Sv(PGBM/glom)] (r = 0.50, P < 0.001) and Vv(Mes/glom) (r = -0.48, P < 0.001) correlated with GFR. Vv(Mes/glom) and GBM width together explained 59% of AER variability. GFR was predicted by Sv(PGBM/glom), AER, and sex. Fast-track patients had worse glycemic control, higher AER, lower GFR, more hypertension and retinopathy, and, as expected, worse glomerular lesions than slow-track patients. Thus, there are strong relationships between glomerular structure and renal function across the spectrum of AER, but there is considerable structural overlap among AER categories. Given that normoalbuminuric patients may have advanced glomerulopathy, the selection of slow-track patients based on glomerular structure may better identify protected patients than AER alone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)506-513
Number of pages8
JournalDiabetes
Volume51
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2002

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