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Values of Alpha 1 Microglobulin Does Not Differ between Individuals with and without Family History of Balkan Endemic Nephropathy

DOI: 10.1155/2014/284293

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Aim. The aim of this study was to compare urinary alpha 1 microglobulin (A1MG) in healthy individuals with and without family burden for Balkan endemic nephropathy (BEN) in an endemic village. Methods. Otherwise healthy inhabitants with microalbuminuria or proteinuria were divided into two groups: with ( ) and without ( ) family BEN burden and screened for urinary A1MG and A1MG/urine creatinine ratio. Results. Average value of urinary A1MG was ?mg/L in group with and ?mg/L in group without family history for BEN (NS, ). A1MG was higher than 10?mg/L in eight (33.33%) inhabitants with family history and in 12 (37.5%) without (NS, ). Average values of urinary A1MG/creatinine ratio were and in group with and group without family BEN history (NS, , resp.). Elevated values of this ratio were found in 13 (54.17%) inhabitants with and 14 (43.75%) without family history for BEN (NS, ). Conclusion. We did not find statistically significant difference in the examined markers between healthy individuals with and without family burden for BEN. We concluded that these markers are not predictive of risk for BEN. 1. Introduction Balkan endemic nephropathy (BEN) is chronic irreversible tubulointerstitial nephritis that is diagnosed in agrarian regions of the Balkan (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania, and Serbia). BEN has never been documented in children and adolescents, has insidious onset, and is usually diagnosed in the fifth decade with terminal renal failure developing in sixth and seventh decade of life. The disease is also characterized by frequent occurrence of tumours of the renal pelvis and urethers. Majority of endemic villages are located at the alluvial valleys of Danube and its tributary rivers. There have been no significant changes in the geographic distribution of BEN since its first descriptions in 1950s [1, 2]. During the past half century, numerous dilemmas and conflicting opinions regarding BEN aetiology have been proposed and the theory that BEN is caused by chronic poisoning with aristolochic acid ingested by food in people with genetic predisposition has gained credence [3]. Based on these reports, BEN is proposed to be categorized as a toxic tubulointerstitial nephropathy, with clinical picture and disease progression not different from other tubulointerstitial nephropathies, but with BEN having an insidious and gradual progression to end stage renal disease. Despite this encouraging leads to the explanation of its aetiology, this endemic kidney disease remains a mystery since its focal and stable distribution for more than 50

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