Measuring albuminuria is the preferred method for defining and staging chronic kidney disease (CKD), but total urine protein or dipstick protein is often measured instead. This analysis presents equations for converting urine protein–creatinine ratio and dipstick protein to urine albumin–creatinine ratio, and finds that both may help in CKD screening, staging, and prognosis..
Equations to convert urine PCR and dipstick protein to ACR were developed and tested for purposes of CKD screening (ACR ≥30 mg/g) and staging (stage A2: ACR of 30 to 299 mg/g; stage A3: ACR ≥300 mg/g).
Median ACR was 14 mg/g (25th to 75th percentile of cohorts, 5 to 25 mg/g). The association between PCR and ACR was inconsistent for PCR values less than 50 mg/g. For higher PCR values, the PCR conversion equations demonstrated moderate sensitivity (91%, 75%, and 87%) and specificity (87%, 89%, and 98%) for screening (ACR >30 mg/g) and classification into stages A2 and A3, respectively. Urine dipstick categories of trace or greater, trace to +, and ++ for screening for ACR values greater than 30 mg/g and classification into stages A2 and A3, respectively, had moderate sensitivity (62%, 36%, and 78%) and high specificity (88%, 88%, and 98%). For individual risk prediction, the estimated 2-year 4-variable kidney failure risk equation using predicted ACR from PCR had discrimination similar to that of using observed ACR.
Diverse methods of ACR and PCR quantification were used; measurements were not always performed in the same urine sample.
Urine ACR is the preferred measure of albuminuria; however, if ACR is not available, predicted ACR from PCR or urine dipstick protein may help in CKD screening, staging, and prognosis