Hypothesis: Potential Utility of Serum and Urine Uromodulin Measurement in Kidney Transplant Recipients?

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Seventy years after its discovery, studies of the myriad properties, and potential disease associations of uromodulin are now burgeoning. Although normative ranges for serum/plasma uromodulin concentrations were established over 30 years ago, their external validation occurred only in very recent, larger studies. As tubular function indices, serum and urinary uromodulin may be more sensitive indicators of kidney graft dysfunction undetected by glomerular filtration markers, or proteinuria. Moreover, 2 sizable, just published longitudinal reports revealed that lower serum uromodulin levels were associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD) outcomes, total mortality, and infectious disease deaths, in patients with known or suspected coronary heart disease. Preliminary longitudinal studies have reported that reduced levels of plasma or serum uromodulin were linked to progression to end-stage renal disease in chronic kidney disease patients, and graft failure in kidney transplant recipients (KTRs). Conflicting data on the associations, or lack thereof, between lower urinary uromodulin concentrations and accelerated loss of renal function, or renal failure, in nontransplant chronic kidney disease patients, are perhaps due, in part, to analytical limitations in determining urine uromodulin. Potential longitudinal associations between serum and urinary uromodulin concentrations, and CVD outcomes, graft failure, and all-cause mortality, await validation in large, diverse cohorts of chronic KTRs. Taking advantage of an efficient case-cohort design scheme, we demonstrate how the completed FAVORIT clinical trial cohort might be ideally suited to evaluate these associations. Using available case-cohort sample data, statistical power simulations are provided to detect relative risk estimates of 1.50 for CVD (n = 309 events), 1.56 for graft failure (n = 223 events) or 1.50 for death from any cause (n = 320 events), comparing values below the median, to values equal to or above the median for serum uromodulin values. Edifying data such as these would advance our understanding of the hypothetical utility of uromodulin measurement in KTRs considerably.

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