Background: Tubulointerstitial kidney disease is a common cause of illness and death in pet cats and is typically not associated with overt proteinuria.
Hypothesis: Proteinuria would be independently related to survival in cats with renal failure, with or without hypertension.
Animals: The study included 136 client-owned cats; 28 apparently normal, 14 hypertensive but not azotemic, 66 azotemic but not hypertensive, and 28 both hypertensive and azotemic.
Methods: Cox's proportional hazards model was used to determine the influence of initial plasma creatinine concentration, proteinuria (urine protein-to-creatinine ratio or albumin-to-creatinine ratio), age, and systemic hypertension on the risk of death or euthanasia during the follow-up period. Multivariable linear regression was used to determine the relation between severity of proteinuria and predictive variables, including age, plasma creatinine concentration, systolic blood pressure, sex, and urine specific gravity.
Results: Plasma creatinine concentration and proteinuria were very highly related to survival. The hazard ratio (95% confidence intervals) for death or euthanasia was 2.9 (1.4–6.3) and 4.0 (2.0–8.0) for urine protein-to-creatinine ratio 0.2-0.4 and >0.4, respectively, compared with the baseline group with a urine protein-to-creatinine ratio of <0.2 and were 2.4 (1.2–4.8) and 4.9 (2.3–10.2) for an albumin-to-creatinine ratio of 30–82 mg/g and <82 mg/g, respectively, compared with a baseline group with albumin-to-creatinine ratio of <30 mg/g. Treated hypertensive cats did not have reduced survival, although systolic blood pressure, together with plasma creatinine concentration was positively related to the magnitude of proteinuria.
Conclusions and Clinical Importance: Despite the relatively low concentrations of proteinuria typical of chronic renal disease in cats, this measurement is of prognostic significance.