Urinary Dipstick Is Not Reliable as a Screening Tool for Albuminuria in the Emergency Department—A Prospective Cohort Study

Christian B. Nielsen*, Henrik Birn, Frans Brandt, Jan D. Kampmann

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Albuminuria is a sensitive marker for renal dysfunction. Urinary dipstick tests are frequently used to screen for urinary abnormalities in the emergency department (ED). The aim of this prospective cohort study is to evaluate the usefulness of urinary dipstick testing as a screening tool for albuminuria in the ED setting and to determine the persistency of albuminuria identified in the acute setting. Urinary dipstick tests and spot urine samples were obtained simultaneously for analysis of the urinary albumin-creatinine ratio (ACR). Participants with positive dipsticks for protein were invited for a second urinalysis four to six weeks after admission. The study included 234 patients admitted to the ED. Urinalysis was performed on 178 patients of which 46% (n = 82) had positive urinary dipstick tests for proteinuria. The sensitivity and specificity of the dipstick test were low (72.7% and 55.7% respectively) when compared to the ACR. Of the 82 patients with positive dipsticks at admission, 35 were available for follow-up. We observed a significant reduction in ACR at follow-up when compared to ACR at admission (p = 0.004). This paper concludes that urinary dipstick tests are not a reliable means to screen for albuminuria in the ED setting.

Original languageEnglish
Article number457
JournalDiagnostics
Volume12
Issue number2
ISSN2075-4418
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

Keywords

  • Albuminuria
  • Emergency department
  • Kidney disease
  • Proteinuria
  • Screening
  • Urinary dipstick

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