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Prevalence and causes of microscopic haematuria in Type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetic patients with persistent proteinuria

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The prevalence and causes of microscopic haematuria were examined in all Type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetic patients with persistent proteinuria (diabetes duration ⩾5 years) attending the outpatient clinic at Hvidöre Hospital during 1985. One hundred eighty-four patients (69F/115M) out of 1024 Type 1 patients had persistent proteinuria (18%). Microscopic haematuria was defined as ⩾3 erythrocytes per high power field in two or more sterile urine samples. Twenty-three Type 1 patients with persistent proteinuria (7F/16M, aged 35.4±13 years) had microscopic haematuria (12.5%). No significant changes were found between the group with and without microscopic haematuria: blood pressure 148/89±22/11 versus 145/91±20/11 mmHg, duration of diabetes when persistent albuminuria occurred 17±8 versus 20±10 years, serum creatinine 99±24 versus 98±31 μmol/l, simplex retinopathy 61 versus 54%, proliferative retinopathy 39 versus 42%, and no signs of retinopathy 0 versus 4%. Kidney biopsy was performed in 13 out of the 23 patients with microscopic haematuria. Diabetic glomerulosclerosis was present in all 13 patients, but 9 patients had a non-diabetic renal disease superimposed (mesangioproliferative glomerulonephritis (n=5), membranous glomerulonephritis (n=3) and sarcoidosis (n=1). Microscopic haematuria is a rare finding, frequently reflecting superimposed non-diabetic glomerulopathies, in Type 1 diabetic patients with diabetic nephropathy and well preserved kidney function.


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Hommel, E., Carstensen, H., Skøtt, P. et al. Prevalence and causes of microscopic haematuria in Type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetic patients with persistent proteinuria. Diabetologia 30, 627–630 (1987). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00277319

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Key words

  • Microscopic haematuria
  • persistent proteinuria
  • diabetic glomerulosclerosis
  • non-diabetic glomerulopathy
  • Type 1 diabetes