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Microalbuminuria correlates with intestinal histopathological grading in patients with inflammatory bowel disease.
  1. N Mahmud,
  2. G S McDonald,
  3. D Kelleher,
  4. D G Weir
  1. Department of Clinical Medicine, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland.


    It has previously been shown that microalbuminuria is a useful disease activity marker for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Microalbuminuria correlates strongly with the markers of clinical and laboratory disease activity such as erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), and C reactive protein (CRP). The aim of this study was to discover if microalbuminuria accurately reflects the intestinal inflammation by correlating it with intestinal inflammation using a standard histopathological grading system in patients with ulcerative colitis and Crohn's colitis. Forty two patients with IBD who had undergone endoscopic examination of the entire colon for the assessment of severity and extent of the disease (Crohn's colitis (n = 21), ulcerative colitis (n = 21)) were recruited to the study. Patients with small bowel Crohn's disease were not studied. Twenty four patients had left sided colonic disease and 18 patients had extensive colonic disease. Each patient's colonic biopsy specimens were scored blindly by a histopathologist and a composite score was compiled on the basis of the severity of changes in the enterocytes and crypts and the cellularity of the lamina propria. A clinical disease activity was obtained using the simple index of Harvey and Bradshaw. Microalbuminuria was measured in all patients by an immunoturbiditimetric method. ESR and CRP were also measured, as indicators of acute phase response in the same patients. It was found that patients with active IBD had higher concentrations of microalbuminuria compared with those patients in remission (median 222 micrograms/min (range 40-686 micrograms/min) v median 96 micrograms/min (range 30-376 micrograms/min); p < 0.001)). Significantly higher concentrations of microalbuminuria were also detected in patients with extensive colonic IBD compared with those patients with left sided disease (median 297 micrograms/min (range 132-686 micrograms/min) v median 101 micrograms/min (range 30-433 micrograms/min); p < 0.001)). A strong positive correlation was seen between microalbuminuria and intestinal histopathological score in IBD patient groups with left sided colitis (r = 0.77; p < 0.001) and extensive disease (r = 0.71; p < 0.01). The standard histopathological grading system correlated with the clinical disease activity (r = 0.64; p < 0.005) and CRP (r = 0.62; p < 0.02), however, it did not correlate with ESR. In conclusion, the strong correlation of microalbuminuria with a standard intestinal histopathological grading system suggests that microalbuminuria accurately reflects the severity of colonic inflammation in patients with Crohn's colitis and ulcerative colitis.

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