Kidney disease can now be diagnosed with a simple saliva test, says a new study. The findings of the study will be presented at ASN Kidney Week 2016 November 15-20 at in Chicago, USA.
The test may also help in predicting patients’ risk of early death.
Simple and inexpensive tools for the diagnosis of kidney disease are lacking. Viviane Calice-Silva, MD, PhD (Pro-Kidney Foundation, Brazil) and her colleagues evaluated the diagnostic performance of a salivary urea nitrogen (SUN) dipstick, in Malawi, a low resource country in Africa.
Among 742 individuals who were studied, investigators diagnosed 146 patients with kidney disease using standard tests. High SUN levels were associated not only with the standard diagnostic tests, but also with a higher risk of early death.
“Our data suggest that SUN can improve the detection of kidney disease, increasing the awareness to this devastating complication,” said Dr Calice-Silva. “Also, higher awareness and detection of kidney disease in low resource settings may increase the number of patients who are diagnosed and referred, therefore providing appropriate treatment and improving outcomes.”