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Change in Albumin Measurement Method Affects Diagnosis of Nephrotic Syndrome by Masanori Seimiya, Sayaka Ohno, Haruna Asano, Keiko Fujiwara, Toshihiko Yoshida, Yuji Sawabe, Kazuyuki Sogawa, Makoto Ogawa, Kazuyuki Matsushita, Osamu Yokosuka, Fumio Nomura

Background: Although serum albumin levels (sALB) have been quantified by the dye-binding method with bromocresol green (BCG) or bromocresol purple (BCP) on a routine basis, accurate measurement of sALB with these methods is difficult. The modified BCP method is highly specific to albumin without being affected by sample preservation to enable stable and accurate quantification of albumin concentrations. A change in the albumin measurement method may alter the diagnosis of nephrotic syndrome.
Methods: sALB was measured in 295 patients including 98 patients with chronic renal disease by the modified BCP method, BCG method, and immunonephelometry as the gold standard.
Results: sALB measured by the modified BCP method was well correlated with levels measured by immunonephelometry. sALB obtained by the BCG method was significantly higher than the levels measured by the modified BCP method (p < 0.001, Student’s t-test). This tendency was more evident in patients with chronic renal disease than other patients. When the threshold value of sALB for the diagnosis criteria of nephrotic syndrome (≤ 25 g/L) and a high risk of thrombosis (≤ 20 g/L) in nephrotic syndrome was based on the BCG method, the revised criteria in the modified BCP method would be ≤ 20.5 and ≤ 14.9 g/L, respectively.
Conclusions: Overestimation of sALB by the BCG method affected diagnosis of nephrotic syndrome. The method by which sALB is measured should be specified in both clinical and research settings in nephrology.

DOI: 10.7754/Clin.Lab.2014.131105