Comparison of Serum and Urinary Biomarker Panels with Albumin Creatinine Ratio in the Prediction of Renal Function Decline in Type 1 Diabetes

Marco Colombo, Stuart J. McGurnaghan, Luke A. K. Blackbourn, R. Neil Dalton, David B. Dunger, Samira Bell, John R. Petrie, Fiona Green, Sandra MacRury, John A. McKnight, John Chalmers, Andrew Collier, Paul M. McKeigue, Helen M. Colhoun (Lead / Corresponding author), Scottish Diabetes Research Network Type 1 Bioresource (SDRNT1BIO)

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Aims/hypothesis: We examined whether candidate biomarkers in serum or urine can improve the prediction of renal disease progression in type 1 diabetes beyond prior eGFR, comparing their performance with urinary albumin/creatinine ratio (ACR).

Methods: From the population-representative Scottish Diabetes Research Network Type 1 Bioresource (SDRNT1BIO) we sampled 50% and 25% of those with starting eGFR below and above 75 ml min −1 [1.73 m] −2, respectively (N = 1629), and with median 5.1 years of follow-up. Multiplexed ELISAs and single molecule array technology were used to measure nine serum biomarkers and 13 urine biomarkers based on our and others’ prior work using large discovery and candidate studies. Associations with final eGFR and with progression to <30 ml min −1 [1.73] m −2, both adjusted for baseline eGFR, were tested using linear and logistic regression models. Parsimonious biomarker panels were identified using a penalised Bayesian approach, and their performance was evaluated through tenfold cross-validation and compared with using urinary ACR and other clinical record data.

Results: Seven serum and seven urine biomarkers were strongly associated with either final eGFR or progression to <30 ml min −1 [1.73 m] −2, adjusting for baseline eGFR and other covariates (all at p<2.3 × 10 −3). Of these, associations of four serum biomarkers were independent of ACR for both outcomes. The strongest associations with both final eGFR and progression to <30 ml min −1 [1.73 m] −2 were for serum TNF receptor 1, kidney injury molecule 1, CD27 antigen, α-1-microglobulin and syndecan-1. These serum associations were also significant in normoalbuminuric participants for both outcomes. On top of baseline covariates, the r 2 for prediction of final eGFR increased from 0.702 to 0.743 for serum biomarkers, and from 0.702 to 0.721 for ACR alone. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve for progression to <30 ml min −1 [1.73 m] −2 increased from 0.876 to 0.953 for serum biomarkers, and to 0.911 for ACR alone. Other urinary biomarkers did not outperform ACR.

Conclusions/interpretation: A parsimonious panel of serum biomarkers easily measurable along with serum creatinine may outperform ACR for predicting renal disease progression in type 1 diabetes, potentially obviating the need for urine testing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)788-798
Number of pages11
Issue number4
Early online date8 Jan 2020
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020


  • Clinical science
  • Epidemiology
  • Metabolomics
  • Nephropathy
  • Proteomics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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