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Rapid and sensitive electrophoresis of urinary protein clearly reveals the pathophysiological feature of renal diseases


Dr Minoru Sakatsume, Division of Clinical Nephrology and Rheumatology, Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences, Niigata University, 1-757 Asahimachi-dori, Niigata 951-8510, Japan. Email:


Aim:  The diagnostic approach for renal diseases with the electrophoretic pattern of urinary protein on cellulose acetate (CA) membrane differentiates the causes of proteinuria. However, this method has not been used routinely because of its difficulty in obtaining a clear image. This study was performed in order to re-evaluate this method with an improved system.

Methods:  Using the newly developed system of CA membrane electrophoresis and its visualization, we examined fresh urine from patients (n = 100) who subsequently underwent renal biopsy and compared the results with the histological findings.

Results:  The improved method of urine electrophoresis with CA membrane provided clear images and was sensitive enough for urine samples to be applied without concentration. The profiles of proteinuria were clearly classified into three patterns: glomerular, tubular or mixed. The profiles exhibited a good agreement with the histological findings of renal biopsy.

Conclusion:  The recognition of damaged portions in kidney through the profiles of proteinuria by this system could be practically effective for understanding the kidney disease at bedside.