Background: Evaluation of serial urine protein:creatinine (UPC) ratios is important in prognosticating chronic kidney disease and monitoring response to therapeutic interventions. Owing to random biologic variation in dogs with stable glomerular proteinuria, multiple determinations of UPC ratios often are recommended to reliably assess urine protein loss. This can be cost-prohibitive.
Objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate agreement between the mean of 3 UPC ratios obtained on 3 separate urine samples per dog and a single UPC ratio obtained when aliquots of the separate samples were pooled and analyzed as 1 sample.
Methods: Three separate urine samples were collected from each of 25 dogs, both client-owned and members of a research colony. Protein and creatinine concentrations were measured in the supernatant of each sample using a biochemical analyzer, and the mean of the 3 UPC ratios was calculated. A 1.0 mL aliquot of each of the 3 samples from each dog was pooled to create a fourth sample for that dog, and the UPC ratio of the pooled sample was similarly determined. Agreement and correlation between the mean and pooled UPC ratios were assessed using Bland–Altman difference plots and regression analysis, respectively.
Results: The UPC ratio in the pooled samples was highly correlated (r=.9998, P<.0001) with the mean UPC ratio of the 3 separate samples. Strong agreement between results was demonstrated; a UPC ratio from a pooled sample was at most ±20% different than the mean UPC ratio obtained from 3 separate samples.
Conclusions: Measuring the UPC ratio in a pooled sample containing equal volumes of several different urine specimens from the same dog provides a reliable and cost-effective alternative to assessing multiple UPC ratios on several specimens from the same dog.